Development and Visualization of Bioluminescent Virulent Aeromonas hydrophila in Live Catfish


Eda Ozdemir


Karsi, Attila

Committee Member

Petrie-Hanson, Lora

Committee Member

Lawrence, Mark

Date of Degree


Original embargo terms

Complete embargo for 2 years

Document Type

Graduate Thesis - Open Access


Virulent Aeromonas hydrophila (vAh) is an important emerging bacterial pathogen causing motile Aeromonas septicemia (MAS) in farmed catfish. Understanding the pathogenicity of the disease is essential for the development of preventive measures. In this study, we aimed to develop a bioluminescent virulent A. hydrophila (BvAh) strain to understand the pathogen-host interactions during infection. To achieve this, a new bioluminescence expression plasmid, pAKgfplux3, was constructed and mobilized to vAh. Catfish were challenged with BvAh using immersion, injection, and adipose fin clip procedures, and bioluminescence signal was tracked in live catfish during infection. We developed a novel BvAh strain for the first time, conducted imaging of BvAh in live fish, detected infection routes and attachment sites of the pathogen, and determined target organs, which provided new insights on the pathogenesis of vAh. MAS progressed better in fish when protection of skin was bypassed. Abraded skin seems to provide a potential portal of entry during vAh infection.



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