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The aim of the study was to investigate the prevalence of Vibrio spp isolated from gilthead sea bream (Sparus aurata) farmed on sea cages and to identify and characterize the pathogen by molecular techniques. Eighty fish were collected from two hatcheries located on the North-Est Sardinian Mediterranean coast, and microbiological analysis were performed on different body parts such as skin, gills, muscle and intestinal tract. Subsequently 100 pure colonies with typical morphology and phenotypic characteristics were selected and submitted to the molecular identification. The analysis on the prevalence of Vibrio spp showed the effect of the hatchery rearing system (P<0.001), of the date of sampling (P<0.001), and of the body part (P<0.001). All the strains selected were confirmed to be members of the genus Vibrio spp by the molecular method/techinique/identification, whereas the rpoA gene sequence analyses allowed to identify 89 strains belonging to the species Vibrio harveyi, 6 to V. diabolicus, 2 to V. parahaemolyticus and 1 to V. mediterranei.
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