Agar culture of Piscirickettsia salmonis, a serious pathogen of farmed salmonid and marine fish


  • Editor: Jorge Crosa

Correspondence: Duncan J. Colquhoun, National Veterinary Institute Oslo, Ullevaalsveien 68, 0454, Olso. Tel.: +47 23 21 61 41; fax: +47 23 21 61 01; e-mail:


Piscirickettsia salmonis, a serious bacterial pathogen of farmed marine fish, previously considered culturable only in eukaryotic cell-culture systems, was grown for the first time on agar and broth containing enhanced levels of cysteine, thus greatly increasing the potential for isolation, in vitro culture and study of this organism. Virulence towards Atlantic salmon following passage on agar media was retained in a controlled laboratory trial. Of the studied temperatures, optimal growth on agar was observed at 22 °C.