Bacteriophage therapy for the control of Vibrio harveyi in greenlip abalone (Haliotis laevigata)

Bacteriophage therapy has demonstrated promising results towards the control of bacterial infections within the aquaculture industry as an alternative therapy to antibiotics. This current research describes the efficacy of bacteriophage therapy in controlling vibriosis within abalone (Haliotis laevigata). Two bacteriophages were isolated and used in in vitro assays to determine the effect of each specific phage on the growth of specific Vibrio harveyi isolates. To demonstrate efficacy, an in vivo bioassay was performed using abalone (H. laevigata) at a water temperature of 24 °C. Characterisation of the two isolated phages revealed they were from the family, Siphoviridae. The phages had different antimicrobial abilities towards different Vibrio harveyi isolates in the in vitro assays and the bioassay demonstrated improved survival of abalone treated with bacteriophage. The results of the bioassay showed that the negative control and phage control were statistically identical, with 100% survival, but they were different from the positive bacterial control, with a 0% survival. The bacteria + phage treated group showed increased accumulative survival of 70% compared to the positive control. This is the first study to demonstrate the efficacy of bacteriophage therapy treatment for abalone. The study demonstrates that if abalones are treated with bacteriophage shortly after Vibrioharveyi infection, the accumulative survival could be significantly increased.

Yanhui Wang, Mary Barton, Lisa Elliott, Xiaoxu Li, Sam Abraham, Mark O’Dea, James Munro, Aquaculture, Volume 473, 20 April 2017, Pages 251–258

The article

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