Ulcer disease, caused by atypical Aeromonas salmonicida, is a serious concern in ornamental koi carp, because it induces skin ulceration, disfiguring ornamental fish and causing economic loses. The present study aimed to establish a novel prophylaxis with chicken egg yolk immunoglobulin, IgY, against ulcer disease and to assess its feasibility in the ornamental fish industry. Addition of egg yolk powder containing anti-A. salmonicida IgY to rearing water provided significant protection against an A. salmonicida bath infection, whereas administration of non-specific IgY did not. Consecutive immersion of fish into rearing water containing specific IgY completely prevented ulcer disease resulting from cohabitation infection, indicating that this prophylaxis could prevent infection from such type of contact. Thus, passive immunization induced by immersing fish into aquarium water containing specific IgY is a prospective prophylaxis against diseases caused by pathogens that invade the skin and gills.
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Bath immersion; IgY; Koi; Passive immunization; Ulcer disease