Wednesday March 29, 2023


Dr. Spencer Russell is working to understand and manage bacterial infections in salmon. 

Russell, a Vancouver Island University (VIU) Fisheries and Aquaculture Associate Professor, is researching Tenacibaculum. These marine bacteria are responsible for a condition called mouth rot or yellow mouth in BC, which describes lesions found around the lower and upper jaws and gills of salmon. The genus of Tenacibaculum is comprised of many different species.  

When salmon smolts move from freshwater to saltwater it’s a stressful event that can leave them vulnerable to infection by various species of Tenacibaculum, causing tenacibaculosis (mouth rot in salmon). Russell said Tenacibaculum is a naturally occurring bacteria found in the marine environment and is a problem in salmon production on the BC coast and around the world.

“If we sample ocean water, we can find it and research has shown we can find it occurring on jellyfish, sea stars and other marine animals. It’s out there,” said Russell. “We are trying to understand what changes occur when fish move from freshwater to saltwater that predisposes them to be infected by these marine bacteria.” 

Read more >

Link copied successfully