An inhibitor of bacterial quorum sensing reduces mortalities caused by vibriosis in rainbow trout (Oncorhynichus mykiss, Walbaum)

Maria Rasch, Christiane Buch, Brian Austin, Wilhelmina J. Slierendrecht, Kim S. Ekmann, Jens Laurits Larsen, Charlotte Johansen, Kathrin Riedel, Leo Eberl, Michael Givskov, Lone Gram

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    126 Citations (Scopus)


    The fish pathogen Vibrio anguillarum produces quorum sensing signal molecules, N-acyl homoserine lactones (AHLs), which in several Gram-negative human and plant pathogenic bacteria regulate virulence factors. Expression of these factors can be blocked using specific quorum-sensing inhibitors (QSIs). The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of a QSI, furanone C-30, on mortality of rainbow trout during challenge with V. anguillarum. Addition of 0.01 or 0.1 µM furanone C-30 to rainbow trout infected by cohabitation caused a significant reduction in accumulated mortality from 80-100% in challenge controls to 4-40% in treated groups. Furanone C-30 had no effect in an immersion challenge system, probably due to a very high water exchange and a rapid dilution of furanone C-30. Growth and survival of V. anguillarum were not affected by the concentrations of furanone C-30 used in the challenge experiments, thus avoiding selection for resistance. To elucidate the mechanism of disease control by furanone C-30, we determined its effect on the bacterial proteome, motility, and respiration. No effects were seen of furanone C-30 in any of these experiments. Although no cytotoxic effect on HeLa cells were observed, exposure to 1 µM (or higher) concentrations of furanone C-30 had detrimental effects on the rainbow trout. Our results indicate that QSIs can be used in non-antibiotic based control of fish diseases. However, they also underline the need for development of novel, less toxic QSI compounds and the need for understanding the exact mechanism(s) of action.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)350-359
    Number of pages10
    JournalSystematic and Applied Microbiology
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - May 2004


    • Acylated homoserine lactones
    • Furanone C-30
    • Quorum-sensing inhibitor
    • Vibrio anguillarum


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