A dose titration study was conducted to determine the dosage of florfenicol (FFC) in feed to control Streptococcus iniae-associated mortality in Nile tilapia Oreochromis niloticus. Six tanks were assigned to each of five treatments: (1) not challenged with S. iniae and fed unmedicated feed; (2) challenged with S. iniae by injection and fed unmedicated feed; (3) challenged with S. iniae and given FFC at 5 mg/kg of body weight (bw) in medicated feed; (4) challenged with S. iniae and given 10 mg FFC/kg bw; and (5) challenged with S. iniae and given 15 mg FFC/kg bw. Treatment was initiated the day after inoculation, and feed was administered for 10 d. Cumulative mortality was 0% in the unchallenged, untreated group; 35.8 ± 4.4% (mean ± SE) in the challenged, unmedicated group; 19.2 ± 2.7% in the 5-mg/kg treated group, 12.5 ± 3.8% in the 10-mg/kg group, and 2.5 ± 1.1% in the 15-mg/kg group. The cumulative mortality was significantly less in each challenged, FFC-treated group than in the challenged, unmedicated controls (5 mg/ kg: P = 0.0156; 10 mg/kg: P = 0.0007; 15 mg/kg: P < 0.0001). The efficacy of the 10- and 15-mg/kg FFC dosages was studied in a separate dose confirmation study. Fish in all tanks were injected with S. iniae. At 4 h postinoculation, 10 tanks were assigned to each of three feed treatments: (1) unmedicated feed; (2) 10 mg FFC/kg bw; and (3) 15 mg FFC/kg bw. Cumulative mortality was 20.5 ± 2.0% in the challenged, unmedicated group; 11.0 ± 2.1% in the 10-mg/kg group; and 5.5 ± 2.4% in the 15-mg/kg group. Mortality was significantly less in the medicated groups than in the challenged, unmedicated control group (10 mg/kg: P = 0.0270; 15 mg/kg: P = 0.0007). Fish in both studies were necropsied, cultured for bacteria, and examined for gross lesions. The minimum inhibitory concentration of FFC against S. iniae in both studies ranged from 0.5 to 1.0 μg/mL. Florfenicol was palatable, safe, and efficacious for control of Nile tilapia mortality due to S. iniae infection.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Aquatic Science