Real-time PCR assay for detection and quantification of Tenacibaculum maritimus from environmental water samples

In aquaculture facilities worldwide, T enacibaculum maritimum is a common marine pathogen that infects important marine fish species causing flexibacteriosis. Monitoring T. maritimum levels is important for effective treatment to mediate possible outbreaks and to avoid the spread of disease and associated mortalities. In an effort to improve surveillance for the presence of T. maritimum, a rapid, real time PCR assay was developed. By amplification and detection of the 16s ribosomal gene using TaqMan chemistry, relative quantitation of the pathogen is possible from mixed environmental water samples. This protocol allows T. maritimum levels to be assayed quickly from seawater samples without obtaining invasive tissue samples and prior to presentation of gross signs of infection. Keywords: Real-time PCR, Tenacibaculum maritimus, Pathogen assay, TaqMan