Vibrio Hepatarius Septicemia with Subacute Enteritis in Common Guitarfish (Rhinobatos rhinobatos)

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Bağcı K., Köstebekci N., Taşgın S. M., bulut e., Balcı K., Yurddaş E., ...More

JOURNAL OF ANATOLIAN ENVIRONMENTAL AND ANIMAL SCIENCES, vol.8, no.2, pp.211-217, 2023 (Peer-Reviewed Journal) identifier


Common guitarfish (Rhinobatos rhinobatos) are an endangered species and are placed on the red list of “Critically Endangered, CR” by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. Guitarfish are kept in captivity and are protected in public aquaria globally, but there is limited information about the diseases for this species. In this research, mortalities (14%) observed in common guitarfish in a public aquarium are reported. Severe hemorrhagic lesions on the ventral body side and reduced feed intake were observed in the affected animals. Two guitarfish were referred for necropsy, microbiological and histopathological examination. Macroscopic findings included severe ecchymotic hemorrhages in the ventral body, bloating of the gastrointestinal tract due to invasive mass, and hyperemia of the colon vessels and obstruction of the colon lumen. Histopathological examination revealed degenerations and necrosis in the liver, desquamation of intestinal villi, severe mononuclear cell infiltration and fibrosis in distal intestine, severe bacterial aggregates in different organs, pancreatitis, vasculitis, and filamentous bacteria-like structures. Vibrio hepatarius was isolated and identified with multilocus sequence analysis (MLSA); multilocus sequence typing (MLST) revealed that the agent belonged to a novel sequence type, 247. After the first description of V. hepatarius in wild healthy adults of Whiteleg shrimp (Litopenaeus vannamei) from Ecuador, this is the first report of deaths due to V. hepatarius observed in common guitarfish kept in captivity in a public aquarium.