Kent, M.L., Feist, S.W., Harper, C., Hoogstraten-Miller, S., Law, J.M., Sánchez-Morgado, J.M., Tanguay, R.L., Sanders, G.E., Spitsbergen, J.M., Whipps, C.M. (2009) Recommendations for control of pathogens and infectious diseases in fish research facilities. Comparative biochemistry and physiology. 149(2):240-248.
Concerns about infectious diseases in fish used for research have risen along with the dramatic increase in the use of fish as models in biomedical research. In addition to acute diseases causing severe morbidity and mortality, underlying chronic conditions that cause low-grade or subclinical infections may confound research results. Here we present recommendations and strategies to avoid or minimize the impacts of infectious agents in fishes maintained in the research setting. There are distinct differences in strategies for control of pathogens in fish used for research compared to fishes reared as pets or in aquaculture. Also, much can be learned from strategies and protocols for control of diseases in rodents used in research, but there are differences. This is due, in part, the unique aquatic environment that is modified by the source and quality of the water provided and the design of facilities. The process of control of pathogens and infectious diseases in fish research facilities is relatively new, and will be an evolving process over time. Nevertheless, the goal of documenting, detecting, and excluding pathogens in fish is just as important as in mammalian research models.