Francisella noatunensis is an emerging pathogen of fish that has been isolated from several cultured species worldwide. Here presented is a case involving several hundred marine grunts that were caught near the Florida Keys for display in public aquaria. These fish were maintained in a recirculating system where they began to experience mortalities approximately two weeks post-stocking. Postmortem examination revealed disseminated systemic granulomatous disease most severely affecting spleen and kidney. Splenic and renal tissue homogenates inoculated in modified Thayer Martin agar media yielded colonies consistent with F. noatunensis 4 days post inoculation. Bacterial colonies and tissues were confirmed positive after real-time PCR amplification of the intracellular growth loci gene (iglC) specific for F. noatunensis subspecies orientalis. Consequently, multiple novel host species for this pathogen were identified, including the French grunt (Haemulon flavolineatum) and the Caesar grunt (Haemulon carbonarium).
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