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Melanized fungi in bony fish species with Head and Lateral Line Erosion (HLLE) with a review of the literature on fungal fish diseases

Max Janse1, Sybren de Hoog2,3#, Nienke Klerks1, Marloes A.M. van Dijk4, Jooske IJzer5, Els M. Broens4, Marja Kik5, Henrich van der Lee2, Sarah A. Ahmed2,3

1Royal Burgers’ Zoo, Arnhem, The Netherlands; 2RadboudUMC / CWZ Center of Expertise for Mycology, Nijmegen, The Netherlands; 3Foundation Atlas of Clinical Fungi, Hilversum, The Netherlands; 4Veterinary Microbiological Diagnostic Center, Utrecht University, Utrecht, The Netherlands; 5Veterinary Pathological Diagnostic Center, Utrecht University, Utrecht, The Netherlands; 6Savaneta 209, Aruba

Abstract

Background. An outbreak of black fungi in Palette surgeonfish (Paracanthurus hepatus) and Threespot angelfish (Apolemichthys trimaculatus) with severe case of Head and Lateral Line Erosion (HLLE) in the saltwater aquarium of Burgers’ Zoo in Arnhem, The Netherlands is reported. 

Results. Etiologic agents were waterborne species of Exophiala, Scolecobasidium and Trematosphaeria. The Scolecobasidium species appeared to be a new species and is introduced as S. burgersense. As numerous Exophiala and Scolecobasidium species are known to cause fish diseases, a review of the literature was undertaken. 

Literature review. This showed that these genera of melanized fungi, particularly Chaetothyriales and Venturiales, and to a less extent Pleosporales, are preponderant in infecting both marine and freshwater bony fish. In contrast, sharks and other cartilaginous fish species are almost exclusively infected by hyaline fungi, primarily Fusarium species and some others by the Hypocreales

Conclusion. Fungal fish disease are exceptional, limited to just a few orders in the fungal Kingdom. The predilection of melanized fungi differs significantly from that of hyaline fungi.

Outbreak of black fungi in Palette surgeonfish  (Paracanthurus hepatus) and Threespot angelfish (Apolemichthys trimaculatus) with severe case of Head and Lateral Line Erosion (HLLE) in the saltwater aquarium of Burgers’ Zoo in Arnhem, The Netherlands is reported. Etiologic agents were waterborne species of Exophiala, Scolecobasidium and Trematosphaeria. The Scolecobasidium species appeared to be a new species and is introduced as S. burgersense. A review of the available literature showed that these genera of melanized fungi, particularly Chaetothyriales and Venturiales, and to a less extent Pleosporales, are preponderant in infecting both marine and freshwater bony fish. In contrast, sharks and other cartilaginous fish species are almost exclusively infected by hyaline fungi, primarily Fusarium species and some others by the Hypocreales

Open Access

Cite this article :
Janse M, de Hoog S, Klerks N, van Dijk MAM, IJzer J, Broens EM, Kik M, van der Lee H, Ahmed SA. 2024. Melanized fungi in bony fish species with Head and Lateral Line
Erosion (HLLE) with a review of the literature on fungal fish diseases. One Health Mycology 1(1), 23-36

ISSN: 3050-4627

Keywords: Bony fish disease; cartilaginous fish disease; marine fish; aquarium; black yeast; HLLE, Exophiala; Scolecobasidium; Ochroconis; Trematosphaeria

Article highlights:

  • Fungal infections in bony fish (Osteichthyes) nearly exclusively
  • concern melanized fungi in a limited number of orders.
  • Fungal infections in cartilaginous fish (Chondrichthyes) nearly
  • exclusively concern hyaline fungi, mainly Fusarium.
  • An outbreak among marine fish in a public aquarium in The
  • Netherlands followed this pattern.
  • The reason for this bipartition is as yet unknown.

#Correspondence: sybren.dehoog@radboudumc.nl

Article info:
Received 22 January 2024
Revised 12 February 2024
Accepted 18 February 2024
Appeared online 24 March 2024
One Health Mycology 1(1): 23−36, 2024