Laboratory and field trials were conducted to evaluate in vitro growth of Renibacterium salmoninarum in media without serum or charcoal. Growth of this bacterium, the cause of bacterial kidney disease (BKD) in salmonids, is accelerated by addition of a growth enhancing “metabolite” of unknown composition to KDM2 medium, the medium commonly used for isolation of R. salmoninarum. KDM2 medium supplemented with greater than 1% (v/v) metabolite enhanced growth even without addition of either serum or charcoal. Medium containing 5% metabolite (denoted Five-M) allowed optimal growth in laboratory studies and was further evaluated as a primary plating medium for recovery of the bacterium isolated from chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha) exhibiting clinical BKD. Recovery rates of R. salmoninarum using Five-M medium were 4% and 36% higher, respectively, than comparable rates using a serum-based medium for the two salmon populations evaluated. Five-M medium is an effective, inexpensive alternative to serum-based or charcoal-based media.
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Vol. 30 • No. 3