Putting pharmaceuticals into the wider context of challenges to fish populations in rivers
The investigation was carried out to ascertain the cause of mass mortalities in European perch (Perca fluviatilis L.) in North Lithuanian rivers in 2008 that reached a maximum in mid-autumn at a water temperature of 6°C. Marked changes were detected in morphophysiological parameters (spleen-, gill-, liver- and heart-somatic indices), which corresponded to changes in haematological parameters (leukocyte count was significantly elevated or reduced) of the infected fish. The viable bacterial counts in the gill, liver and kidney of infected live fish samples ranged from 2.3±0.3 × 103 to 6.3×00B1;0.4 × 103 c.f.u./g. The BOX-PCR fingerprinting technique was used for characterization and identification of the isolated bacterial strains from liver and kidney of infected perch. The bacterial isolates were identified by sequence analysis of the 16S rRNA gene. Pathogenic Aeromonas salmonicida subsp. salmonicida has been identified as a possible causative agent of the observed mortality in European perch.