After searching 15 years for a way to combat a devastating disease among salmonids (salmon and trout), researchers at Washington State University (WSU) and the University of Idaho (UI) found an answer inside the fish itself.
Dr. Kenneth Cain’s team at UI’s Aquaculture Research Institute cultured a bacteria from the fish’s gut (designated Enterobacter C6-6) and found that it inhibited the growth of Flavobacterium psychrophilum, the organism that causes Coldwater Disease.
Cain and Dr. Douglas Call, his WSU-based research partner since 2001, found that by adding C6-6 to fish feed as a probiotic they could limit the damage caused by Coldwater Disease – but they’re not quite sure why. “We know that C6-6 produces a toxin,” Call said. “This toxin kills the bacteria although we’re trying to get more funding to figure out how this works in the fish itself.”