Emerging and re-emerging Flavobacterial pathogens in aquaculture (Cain)

In response to the rising incidence of diseases driven by emerging and re-emerging Flavobacteriacea pathogens in western U.S. regions, the primary aim of this project is to ascertain their distribution and develop effective control or preventative measures. This endeavor aligns with the USDA-NIFA's substantial challenge of Food Security. Drawing from our extensive understanding, we seek to further our examination of F. columnare strains along with other pathogenic Flavobacteriaceae members, dissecting their genetic, antigenic, and virulence level characteristics. These investigations utilize samples from aquaculture facilities based in western states. We intend to test 18 antibiotics against these strains to assess potential treatments. Moreover, we are exploring the potential use of a live attenuated bacterial coldwater disease (BCWD) vaccine as a cross-protective measure against infectious F. columnare and novel flavobacterial strains. Our commitment to aiding aquaculture stakeholders with our research efforts showcases WRAC's drive to ensure food security by engaging reliable and professional strategies designed towards enhancing industry competencies and optimizing resource use.


  1. Provide molecular identification for a maximum of 180 Flavobacteriaceae and Flavobacteriaceae-like bacteria recovered from clinically diseased cultured fish in the Western region (UC Davis: Years 1 &2).
  2. Determine the antimicrobial susceptibility profile for representative
  3. Flavobacterium. columnare groups and other Flavobacteriaceae bacteria recovered from clinically diseased cultured fish (UC Davis: Years 1 &2).
  4. Characterize genetic diversity among field isolates (UC Davis: Years 1 & 2).
  5. Characterize antigenic diversity among field isolates (UI: Years 1 & 2).
  6. Characterize virulence diversity among field isolates (UI: Years 1&2).
  7. Determine cross-protective efficacy of a live-attenuated CWD vaccine against select pathogenic strains of F. columnare and other Flavobacteriaceae members (UI: Year 3).
  8. Disseminate project results broadly to industry, fish health specialists, and aquaculture research and Extension specialists (UI: Year 3).

Project Reports

Project Summary

Duration: 3 years
Funded Date: 09/01/2018
Funding level: $326,125
Location: California - CA, Idaho - ID, Washington - WA
Species: Trout
Topics: Cold water disease, Flavobacterial pathogens, Vaccination development

University of Washington
School of Aquatic & Fishery Sciences

Box 355020, Seattle, WA 98195
1122 NE Boat St, Seattle, WA 98105


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