Disease data

Bacterial Kidney Disease (Renibacterium salmoninarum)

Previously listed diseases
Fish
Bacterial disease; Gram positive bacteria; Renibacterium salmoninarum

Summary from the online OIE Diagnostic Manual

Bacterial kidney disease ( BKD ) caused by Renibacterium salmoninarum occurs in most parts of the world where salmonid fish are cultured or occur in the wild ( 25, 26 ) . Salmonids vary in their susceptibility to BKD, and Pacific salmon species of the genus Oncorhynchus are generally considered to be the most susceptible ( 21, 26, 49, 52 ) . BKD can cause serious mortality in juvenile salmonids in both fresh water and seawater, and also in prespawning adults. The disease has been described throughout North America and in many countries in Europe, as well as Japan, Chile, and Iceland ( 2, 21, 25, 27 ) . Most recorded outbreaks of BKD have occurred in fish culture facilities, and the spread of BKD has followed the expansion of salmonid culture ( 25 ) . Clinical BKD has also been reported in feral fish ( 5, 36, 39, 45 ) , including naturally spawning populations that have never been supplemented with hatchery fish ( 22, 51 ) . Whereas the chronic nature of the disease has hindered accurate estimates of fish losses, particularly in feral fish populations, BKD remains one of the most important bacterial diseases affecting cultured salmonids. Losses as high as 80% in stocks of Pacific salmon and 40% in stocks of Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) have been reported ( 25 ) .

Renibacterium salmoninarum is a small ( 0.3-0.1 µm by 1.0-1.5 µm ) , nonmotile, nonspore-forming, nonacid-fast, Gram-positive diplobacillus ( 27 ) . It typically causes a slowly progressing systemic infection, with overt disease rarely evident until fish are 6-12 months old ( 21 ). Fish with severe R. salmoninarum infections may show no obvious external signs, or may exhibit one or more of the following: lethargy; skin darkening; abdominal distension due to ascites; pale gills associated with anaemia; exophthalmos; haemorrhages around the vent; and cystic cavities in the skeletal muscle. Internal examination usually reveals the presence of focal to multifocal grayish-white nodular lesions in the kidney, and sometimes in the spleen and liver. In addition, there may be turbid fluid in the abdominal cavity, haemorrhages on the abdominal wall and in the viscera, and a diffuse white membranous layer ( pseudomembrane ) on one or more of the internal organs. In tissue sections of BKD lesions, R. salmoninarum is frequently observed within phagocytic cells, particularly macrophages. The bacterium appears to survive and perhaps replicate within these cells ( 4, 10, 31, 57 ) .

The kidney disease bacterium can be transmitted both horizontally from infected fish sharing the water supply ( 6, 38 ) , and vertically in association with eggs from infected parents ( 23, 43 ) . As with other infectious diseases of salmonids that are difficult or impossible to treat, avoidance is recommended for the control of BKD in cultured salmonid stocks ( 1, 21 ) . Because R. salmoninarum is often enzootic in wild salmonid populations ( 9, 22, 34 ) , measures to control losses from BKD may be defeated by constant exposure of hatchery fish to waterborne bacteria shed into the water supply by wild fish residing upstream from the hatchery ( 33, 38 ) . Salmonids reared in seawater present special problems because it is difficult to ensure adequate separation of groups of fish to prevent horizontal transmission, and because of the possibility that other marine species might serve as reservoirs for R. salmoninarum( 7, 14, 50, 54 ) .

To reduce the probability of vertical transmission of R. salmoninarum in cultured salmonids, brood stock segregation or culling is now used to select egg lots to retain as a source of juvenile fish for hatchery rearing ( 30, 43, 55 ) The selection process is aimed at rearing egg lots from mating pairs with undetectable or very low levels of R. salmoninarum . This requires the use of sensitive BKD detection methods for testing the prevalence and levels of R. salmoninarum in each parent fish. Elliott & Barila ( 16 ) believed that the membrane-filtration fluorescent antibody test ( MF-FAT ) would provide the sensitivity and quantification necessary to investigate the relationship between the levels of R. salmoninarum in the female parent and the probability of transmitting the disease to the progeny. Pascho et al.( 43 ) later demonstrated the usefulness of brood stock segregation for controlling losses from BKD by using the MF-FAT in conjunction with the enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay to segregate egg lots from chinook salmon parents infected with either very low or very high levels of R. salmoninarum. These researchers reported that the losses from BKD among the progeny of parents with very low levels of R. salmoninarum were significantly less than those among the progeny of parents with very high infection levels. The aquaculturist must be aware, however, that brood stock segregation may not completely eliminate BKD from an affected population. Because the broodstock used for commercial fish farming should be free of the kidney disease bacterium, it may be necessary to repopulate a contaminated facility with brood fish from a BKD-free population.

Crucial to the success of any BKD control programme is the application of reliable diagnostic methods that can detect low levels of R. salmoninarum in a variety of sample types. For that reason, fish health specialists and researchers have long been interested in developing methods for more rapid and reliable detection of R. salmoninarum infections ( 29, 41, 42, 48, 56 ) . As each new test has been developed, however, there has been a tendency to reject older techniques. Nevertheless, no single ideal diagnostic test has yet been developed for the evaluation of multiple samples for the presence of BKD.


Countries affected

Country Year Status View Records
Austria 2010 Reported present or known to be present View Records
Canada 2007 Reported present or known to be present View Records
Chile 2007 Reported present or known to be present View Records
Denmark 2007 Reported present or known to be present View Records
Finland 2007 Reported present or known to be present View Records
France 2013 Occurrence limited to certain zones View Records
Germany 2007 Reported present or known to be present View Records
Iceland 2006 Reported present in specific zones View Records
Italy 2011 Reported present or known to be present View Records
Japan 2007 Reported present or known to be present View Records
Norway 2007 Suspected but not confirmed View Records
Sri Lanka 2007 Suspected but not confirmed View Records
Sweden 2007 Reported positive year View Records
United Kingdom 2006 Occurrence limited to certain zones View Records
United States of America 2007 Occurrence limited to certain zones View Records
Venezuela 2007 Suspected but not confirmed View Records

Species affected

Species Disease occurence Abstract
Oncorhynchus mykiss Natural occurrence World Animal Health in 1997. Part 1. Reports on the animal health status and disease control methods.
Oncorhynchus spp. Natural occurrence OIE Diagnostic Manual for Aquatic Animal Diseases (3rd edition).
Oncorhynchus spp. Natural occurrence OIE Diagnostic Manual for Aquatic Animal Diseases 2003 (4th edition).
Oncorhynchus spp. Natural occurrence OIE Manual of Diagnostic Tests for Aquatic Animals (5th edition, 2006).
Salmo salar Natural occurrence World Animal Health in 1997. Part 1. Reports on the animal health status and disease control methods.
Salmo salar Natural occurrence OIE Diagnostic Manual for Aquatic Animal Diseases 2003 (4th edition).
Salmo salar Natural occurrence OIE Manual of Diagnostic Tests for Aquatic Animals (5th edition, 2006).
Salmo salar Unknown World Animal Health in 1996. Part 1. Reports on the animal health status and disease control methods.
Salmo salar, Baltic Natural occurrence World Animal Health in 1998. Part 1. Reports on the animal health status and disease control methods.

Countries affected

Country Year Status View Records
Canada 2018 Reported present or known to be present View Records
Chile 2017 Reported present or known to be present View Records
Finland 2002 Pathogen detected for the first time View Records
Germany 1986 Reported positive year View Records
Norway 1993 See Publication View Records
Sweden 1993 See Publication View Records
Taiwan 2011 Reported present or known to be present View Records
Turkey 2006 Pathogen detected for the first time View Records
United States of America 1993 See Publication View Records

Species affected

Species Disease occurence Abstract
Anoplopoma fimbria Experimental demonstration Bacterial kidney disease - BKD.
Anoplopoma fimbria Experimental demonstration Pathology of experimental infections of the sablefish, Anoplopoma fimbria (Pallas), with Renibacterium salmoninarum, the agent of bacterial kidney disease in salmonids.
Clupea pallasii Carrier not affected Pathogens associated with impounded Pacific herring Clupea harengus pallasi, with emphasis on viral erythrocytic necrosis (VEN) and atypical Aeromonas salmonicida.
Clupea pallasii Experimental demonstration Pathogens associated with impounded Pacific herring Clupea harengus pallasi, with emphasis on viral erythrocytic necrosis (VEN) and atypical Aeromonas salmonicida.
Coregonus lavaretus Natural occurrence First case of bacterial kidney disease (BKD) in whitefish (Coregonus lavaretus) in Finland.
Cymatogaster aggregata Experimental demonstration Bacterial kidney disease - BKD.
Hexagrammos otakii Carrier not affected Detection of Renibacterium salmoninarum, the causative agent of bacterial kidney disease in salmonid fish, from pen-cultured coho salmon.
Lota lota Experimental demonstration Characterization of susceptibility and carrier status of burbot, Lota lota (L.), to IHNV, IPNV, Flavobacterium psychrophilum, Aeromonas salmonicida and Renibacterium salmoninarum.
Notropis cornutus Experimental demonstration Bacterial kidney disease - BKD.
Oncorhynchus gorbuscha Natural occurrence Current status of disease of cultured salmonids in Hokkaido, Japan.
Oncorhynchus keta Experimental demonstration Experimental mortalities of chum salmon, Oncorhynchus keta, caused by bacterial kidney disease in fresh water and seawater.
Oncorhynchus kisutch Natural occurrence Atypical BKD predominantly causing ocular and skin lesions.
Oncorhynchus kisutch Natural occurrence A case of herpesvirus infection on freshwater-reared coho salmon Oncorhynchus kisutch in Japan.
Oncorhynchus masou Natural occurrence Current status of disease of cultured salmonids in Hokkaido, Japan.
Oncorhynchus mykiss Experimental demonstration Histopathology of bacterial kidney disease in laboratory infected rainbow trout, Salmo gairdneri Richardson, and Atlantic salmon, Salmo salar L., with reference to naturally infected fish.
Oncorhynchus mykiss Natural occurrence Atypical BKD predominantly causing ocular and skin lesions.
Oncorhynchus mykiss Natural occurrence First demonstration of Renibacterium salmoninarum/ BKD in Denmark
Oncorhynchus mykiss Natural occurrence Prevalence of Renibacterium salmoninarum among downstream-migrating salmonids in the Columbia River.
Oncorhynchus nerka Experimental demonstration Resistance of the Pacific lamprey, Lampetra tridentata (Gairdner), to challenge by Renibacterium salmoninarum, the causative agent of kidney disease in salmonids.
Oncorhynchus nerka Natural occurrence Current status of disease of cultured salmonids in Hokkaido, Japan.
Oncorhynchus rhodurus Natural occurrence Bacterial kidney disease of cultured amago Oncorhynchus rhodurus var macrostomus occurred at Okayama Prefecture in spring of 1983.
Oncorhynchus spp. Natural occurrence Renibacterium salmoninarum and bacterial kidney disease-the unfinished jigsaw.
Oncorhynchus tshawytscha Experimental demonstration Experimental induction of bacterial kidney disease in chinook salmon by immersion and cohabitation challenges.
Oncorhynchus tshawytscha Experimental demonstration Detection accuracy of *Renibacterium salmoninarum* in Chinook salmon, Oncorhynchus tshawytscha (Walbaum) from non-lethally collected samples: Effects of exposure route and disease severity
Oncorhynchus tshawytscha Natural occurrence Current status of disease of cultured salmonids in Hokkaido, Japan.
Oncorhynchus tshawytscha Natural occurrence Case report of kidney disease in a wild chinook salmon, Oncorhynchus tshawytscha, in the sea.
Patinopecten yessoensis Carrier not affected Detection of Renibacterium salmoninarum, the causative agent of bacterial kidney disease in salmonid fish, from pen-cultured coho salmon.
Petromyzon marinus Natural occurrence First record of Renibacterium salmoninarum in the sea lamprey (Petromyzon marinus).
Pimephales promelas Experimental demonstration Bacterial kidney disease - BKD.
Platycephalus indicus Carrier not affected Detection of Renibacterium salmoninarum, the causative agent of bacterial kidney disease in salmonid fish, from pen-cultured coho salmon.
Plecoglossus altivelis Experimental demonstration Occurrence of bacterial kidney disease in cultured ayu.
Plecoglossus altivelis Natural occurrence Occurrence of bacterial kidney disease in cultured ayu.
Salmo (Hucho) hucho Experimental demonstration Histological survey of Bacterial Kidney Disease (BKD) of salmonids especially related to grayling (Thymallus thymallus).
Salmo (Hucho) hucho Natural occurrence The history and current status of Renibacterium salmoninarum, the causative agent of bacterial kidney disease in Pacific salmon.
Salmo clarki Natural occurrence Bacterial kidney disease of salmonid fish.
Salmo salar Experimental demonstration Detection of Renibacterium salmoninarum infection in asymptomatic Atlantic salmon.
Salmo salar Natural occurrence Bacterial fish pathogens: Disease in farmed and wild fish.
Salmo trutta Natural occurrence Epidemiology of Renibacterium salmoninarum in wild Arctic charr and brown trout in Iceland.
Salmo trutta Natural occurrence Bacterial fish pathogens: Disease in farmed and wild fish.
Salmo trutta labrax Natural occurrence Isolation of Renibacterium salmoninarum from cultured Black Sea salmon (Salmo trutta labrax): first report in Turkey.
Salmonids Experimental demonstration Biochemical, serological, and genetic characterisation of Renibacterium salmoninarum isolates recovered from salmonids in Chile
Salmonids Experimental demonstration Genomic epidemiology of the commercially important pathogen Renibacterium salmoninarum within the Chilean salmon industry
Salmonids Natural occurrence Bacterial Kidney Disease.
Salvelinus alpinus Natural occurrence Renibacterium salmoninarum in wild Arctic charr Salvelinus alpinus and lake trout S. namaycush from the Northwest Territories, Canada.
Salvelinus alpinus Natural occurrence Epidemiology of Renibacterium salmoninarum in wild Arctic charr and brown trout in Iceland.
Salvelinus fontinalis Natural occurrence Bacterial fish pathogens: Disease in farmed and wild fish.
Salvelinus namaycush Natural occurrence Renibacterium salmoninarum in wild Arctic charr Salvelinus alpinus and lake trout S. namaycush from the Northwest Territories, Canada.
Salvelinus namaycush Natural occurrence Kidney disease in lake trout complicated by lymphosarcoma.
Thymallus thymallus Experimental demonstration Histological survey of Bacterial Kidney Disease (BKD) of salmonids especially related to grayling (Thymallus thymallus).
Thymallus thymallus Natural occurrence Infection of grayling (Thymallus thymallus) with the agent of bacterial kidney disease (BKD).
Thymallus thymallus Natural occurrence The history and current status of Renibacterium salmoninarum, the causative agent of bacterial kidney disease in Pacific salmon.

Countries affected

Country Year Status View Records
Austria 2010 Reported present or known to be present View Records
Canada 2018 Reported present or known to be present View Records
Chile 2017 Reported present or known to be present View Records
Denmark 2007 Reported present or known to be present View Records
Finland 2007 Reported present or known to be present View Records
France 2013 Occurrence limited to certain zones View Records
Germany 2007 Reported present or known to be present View Records
Iceland 2006 Reported present in specific zones View Records
Italy 2011 Reported present or known to be present View Records
Japan 2007 Reported present or known to be present View Records
Norway 2007 Suspected but not confirmed View Records
Sri Lanka 2007 Suspected but not confirmed View Records
Sweden 2007 Reported positive year View Records
Taiwan 2011 Reported present or known to be present View Records
Turkey 2006 Pathogen detected for the first time View Records
United Kingdom 2006 Occurrence limited to certain zones View Records
United States of America 2007 Occurrence limited to certain zones View Records
Venezuela 2007 Suspected but not confirmed View Records

Species affected

Species Disease occurence Abstract
Anoplopoma fimbria Experimental demonstration Bacterial kidney disease - BKD.
Anoplopoma fimbria Experimental demonstration Pathology of experimental infections of the sablefish, Anoplopoma fimbria (Pallas), with Renibacterium salmoninarum, the agent of bacterial kidney disease in salmonids.
Clupea pallasii Carrier not affected Pathogens associated with impounded Pacific herring Clupea harengus pallasi, with emphasis on viral erythrocytic necrosis (VEN) and atypical Aeromonas salmonicida.
Clupea pallasii Experimental demonstration Pathogens associated with impounded Pacific herring Clupea harengus pallasi, with emphasis on viral erythrocytic necrosis (VEN) and atypical Aeromonas salmonicida.
Coregonus lavaretus Natural occurrence First case of bacterial kidney disease (BKD) in whitefish (Coregonus lavaretus) in Finland.
Cymatogaster aggregata Experimental demonstration Bacterial kidney disease - BKD.
Hexagrammos otakii Carrier not affected Detection of Renibacterium salmoninarum, the causative agent of bacterial kidney disease in salmonid fish, from pen-cultured coho salmon.
Lota lota Experimental demonstration Characterization of susceptibility and carrier status of burbot, Lota lota (L.), to IHNV, IPNV, Flavobacterium psychrophilum, Aeromonas salmonicida and Renibacterium salmoninarum.
Notropis cornutus Experimental demonstration Bacterial kidney disease - BKD.
Oncorhynchus gorbuscha Natural occurrence Current status of disease of cultured salmonids in Hokkaido, Japan.
Oncorhynchus keta Experimental demonstration Experimental mortalities of chum salmon, Oncorhynchus keta, caused by bacterial kidney disease in fresh water and seawater.
Oncorhynchus kisutch Natural occurrence Atypical BKD predominantly causing ocular and skin lesions.
Oncorhynchus kisutch Natural occurrence A case of herpesvirus infection on freshwater-reared coho salmon Oncorhynchus kisutch in Japan.
Oncorhynchus masou Natural occurrence Current status of disease of cultured salmonids in Hokkaido, Japan.
Oncorhynchus mykiss Experimental demonstration Histopathology of bacterial kidney disease in laboratory infected rainbow trout, Salmo gairdneri Richardson, and Atlantic salmon, Salmo salar L., with reference to naturally infected fish.
Oncorhynchus mykiss Natural occurrence Atypical BKD predominantly causing ocular and skin lesions.
Oncorhynchus mykiss Natural occurrence First demonstration of Renibacterium salmoninarum/ BKD in Denmark
Oncorhynchus mykiss Natural occurrence Prevalence of Renibacterium salmoninarum among downstream-migrating salmonids in the Columbia River.
Oncorhynchus mykiss Natural occurrence World Animal Health in 1997. Part 1. Reports on the animal health status and disease control methods.
Oncorhynchus nerka Experimental demonstration Resistance of the Pacific lamprey, Lampetra tridentata (Gairdner), to challenge by Renibacterium salmoninarum, the causative agent of kidney disease in salmonids.
Oncorhynchus nerka Natural occurrence Current status of disease of cultured salmonids in Hokkaido, Japan.
Oncorhynchus rhodurus Natural occurrence Bacterial kidney disease of cultured amago Oncorhynchus rhodurus var macrostomus occurred at Okayama Prefecture in spring of 1983.
Oncorhynchus spp. Natural occurrence Renibacterium salmoninarum and bacterial kidney disease-the unfinished jigsaw.
Oncorhynchus spp. Natural occurrence OIE Diagnostic Manual for Aquatic Animal Diseases (3rd edition).
Oncorhynchus spp. Natural occurrence OIE Diagnostic Manual for Aquatic Animal Diseases 2003 (4th edition).
Oncorhynchus spp. Natural occurrence OIE Manual of Diagnostic Tests for Aquatic Animals (5th edition, 2006).
Oncorhynchus tshawytscha Experimental demonstration Experimental induction of bacterial kidney disease in chinook salmon by immersion and cohabitation challenges.
Oncorhynchus tshawytscha Experimental demonstration Detection accuracy of *Renibacterium salmoninarum* in Chinook salmon, Oncorhynchus tshawytscha (Walbaum) from non-lethally collected samples: Effects of exposure route and disease severity
Oncorhynchus tshawytscha Natural occurrence Current status of disease of cultured salmonids in Hokkaido, Japan.
Oncorhynchus tshawytscha Natural occurrence Case report of kidney disease in a wild chinook salmon, Oncorhynchus tshawytscha, in the sea.
Patinopecten yessoensis Carrier not affected Detection of Renibacterium salmoninarum, the causative agent of bacterial kidney disease in salmonid fish, from pen-cultured coho salmon.
Petromyzon marinus Natural occurrence First record of Renibacterium salmoninarum in the sea lamprey (Petromyzon marinus).
Pimephales promelas Experimental demonstration Bacterial kidney disease - BKD.
Platycephalus indicus Carrier not affected Detection of Renibacterium salmoninarum, the causative agent of bacterial kidney disease in salmonid fish, from pen-cultured coho salmon.
Plecoglossus altivelis Experimental demonstration Occurrence of bacterial kidney disease in cultured ayu.
Plecoglossus altivelis Natural occurrence Occurrence of bacterial kidney disease in cultured ayu.
Salmo (Hucho) hucho Experimental demonstration Histological survey of Bacterial Kidney Disease (BKD) of salmonids especially related to grayling (Thymallus thymallus).
Salmo (Hucho) hucho Natural occurrence The history and current status of Renibacterium salmoninarum, the causative agent of bacterial kidney disease in Pacific salmon.
Salmo clarki Natural occurrence Bacterial kidney disease of salmonid fish.
Salmo salar Experimental demonstration Detection of Renibacterium salmoninarum infection in asymptomatic Atlantic salmon.
Salmo salar Natural occurrence World Animal Health in 1997. Part 1. Reports on the animal health status and disease control methods.
Salmo salar Natural occurrence OIE Diagnostic Manual for Aquatic Animal Diseases 2003 (4th edition).
Salmo salar Natural occurrence OIE Manual of Diagnostic Tests for Aquatic Animals (5th edition, 2006).
Salmo salar Natural occurrence Bacterial fish pathogens: Disease in farmed and wild fish.
Salmo salar Unknown World Animal Health in 1996. Part 1. Reports on the animal health status and disease control methods.
Salmo salar, Baltic Natural occurrence World Animal Health in 1998. Part 1. Reports on the animal health status and disease control methods.
Salmo trutta Natural occurrence Epidemiology of Renibacterium salmoninarum in wild Arctic charr and brown trout in Iceland.
Salmo trutta Natural occurrence Bacterial fish pathogens: Disease in farmed and wild fish.
Salmo trutta labrax Natural occurrence Isolation of Renibacterium salmoninarum from cultured Black Sea salmon (Salmo trutta labrax): first report in Turkey.
Salmonids Experimental demonstration Biochemical, serological, and genetic characterisation of Renibacterium salmoninarum isolates recovered from salmonids in Chile
Salmonids Experimental demonstration Genomic epidemiology of the commercially important pathogen Renibacterium salmoninarum within the Chilean salmon industry
Salmonids Natural occurrence Bacterial Kidney Disease.
Salvelinus alpinus Natural occurrence Renibacterium salmoninarum in wild Arctic charr Salvelinus alpinus and lake trout S. namaycush from the Northwest Territories, Canada.
Salvelinus alpinus Natural occurrence Epidemiology of Renibacterium salmoninarum in wild Arctic charr and brown trout in Iceland.
Salvelinus fontinalis Natural occurrence Bacterial fish pathogens: Disease in farmed and wild fish.
Salvelinus namaycush Natural occurrence Renibacterium salmoninarum in wild Arctic charr Salvelinus alpinus and lake trout S. namaycush from the Northwest Territories, Canada.
Salvelinus namaycush Natural occurrence Kidney disease in lake trout complicated by lymphosarcoma.
Thymallus thymallus Experimental demonstration Histological survey of Bacterial Kidney Disease (BKD) of salmonids especially related to grayling (Thymallus thymallus).
Thymallus thymallus Natural occurrence Infection of grayling (Thymallus thymallus) with the agent of bacterial kidney disease (BKD).
Thymallus thymallus Natural occurrence The history and current status of Renibacterium salmoninarum, the causative agent of bacterial kidney disease in Pacific salmon.