A1 Journal article (refereed)
Comparison of Delivery Methods in Phage Therapy against Flavobacterium columnare Infections in Rainbow Trout (2021)

Kunttu, H. M. T., Runtuvuori-Salmela, A., Middelboe, M., Clark, J., & Sundberg, L.-R. (2021). Comparison of Delivery Methods in Phage Therapy against Flavobacterium columnare Infections in Rainbow Trout. Antibiotics, 10(8), Article 914. https://doi.org/10.3390/antibiotics10080914

JYU authors or editors

Publication details

All authors or editors: Kunttu, Heidi M. T.; Runtuvuori-Salmela, Anniina; Middelboe, Mathias; Clark, Jason; Sundberg, Lotta-Riina

Journal or series: Antibiotics

eISSN: 2079-6382

Publication year: 2021

Publication date: 27/07/2021

Volume: 10

Issue number: 8

Article number: 914

Publisher: MDPI AG

Publication country: Switzerland

Publication language: English

DOI: https://doi.org/10.3390/antibiotics10080914

Research data link: http://urn.fi/URN:NBN:fi:jyu-202109104846

Publication open access: Openly available

Publication channel open access: Open Access channel

Publication is parallel published (JYX): https://jyx.jyu.fi/handle/123456789/78465

Additional information: This article belongs to the Special Issue Phages and the Evolution of Bacterial Pathogenicity.


Viruses of bacteria, bacteriophages, specifically infect their bacterial hosts with minimal effects on the surrounding microbiota. They have the potential to be used in the prevention and treatment of bacterial infections, including in the field of food production. In aquaculture settings, disease-causing bacteria are often transmitted through the water body, providing several applications for phage-based targeting of pathogens, in the rearing environment, and in the fish. We tested delivery of phages by different methods (via baths, in phage-coated material, and via oral delivery in feed) to prevent and treat Flavobacterium columnare infections in rainbow trout fry using three phages (FCOV-S1, FCOV-F2, and FCL-2) and their hosts (FCO-S1, FCO-F2, and B185, respectively). Bath treatments given before bacterial infection and at the onset of the disease symptoms were the most efficient way to prevent F. columnare infections in rainbow trout, possibly due to the external nature of the disease. In a flow-through system, the presence of phage-coated plastic sheets delayed the onset of the disease. The oral administration of phages first increased disease progression, although total mortality was lower at the end of the experiment. When analysed for shelf-life, phage titers remained highest when maintained in bacterial culture media and in sterile lake water. Our results show that successful phage therapy treatment in the aquaculture setting requires optimisation of phage delivery methods in vivo.

Keywords: aquaculture; bacteria; bacteriophages; bacterial diseases; treatment methods; phage therapy; Salmoniformes

Free keywords: aquaculture; bacteriophage; bacterial infection; columnaris disease; Flavobacterium columnare; phage therapy; phage delivery; rainbow trout; treatment; virulence

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Ministry reporting: Yes

Reporting Year: 2021

JUFO rating: 1

Last updated on 2023-03-10 at 12:51