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Co-Infection with Pseudomonas anguilliseptica and Delftia acidovorans in the European eel, Anguilla anguilla (L.): a case history of an illegally trafficked protected species


Correspondence K B Andree, IRTA-SCR, Crta. Poble Nou, Km 5.5, 43540 Sant Carles de la Rápita, Tarragona, Spain (e-mail:


Inspections by customs agents at Barcelona airport discovered 420 kg of contraband glass eels prepared for shipment to Hong Kong. After confiscation of these animals by police, they were transported to holding facilities to be maintained until after a judicial hearing. Upon arrival, they were separated into two groups and held under ambient flow-through conditions in fresh water. During their captivity period, several peaks in mortality occurred and multiple bacterial strains were isolated from moribund animals. Sequencing of 16S rDNA was used to determine specific identity of the isolates. An initial isolation of Pseudomonas anguilliseptica was treated with oxytetracycline. A subsequent isolation of Delftia acidovorans proved resistant to oxytetracycline and was treated with gentamicin in combination with sulphadiazine–trimethoprim. Once the health condition of the animals was stabilized, they were partitioned into groups and subsequently released as part of a restocking effort for the species following the guidelines of Regulation (EC) 1100/2007 (Anon 2007). This represents the first record for both bacterial species in the host Anguilla anguilla in the Spanish Mediterranean.