Inactivation of renibacterium salmoninarum by free chlorine
Salmonid fishes contract bacterial kidney disease by vertical or horizontal transmission of the pathogenic bacterium, Renibacterium salmoninarum. Procedures to reduce vertical transmission are under evaluation, but methods are still needed to eliminate sources of waterborne R. salmoninarum. We examined the efficacy of chlorine to inactivate R. salmoninarum. The bacterium was exposed to various levels of chlorine at pH 6,7, or 8, and at 75°C or 15°C. At pH 7 and 15"C, 99% inactivation occurred within 18 s, even at free chlorine concentrations as low as 0.05 mg/l. Chlorine was most effective at neutral or acidic pH, and 15°C. The inactivation curves for 7.5"C and pH 7, or 15°C and pH 8, deviated from first-order kinetics by exhibiting shoulders or a tailing-off effect, suggesting that chlorine and the bacterial cells were not the sole reactants. A plot of the concentration-time (Ct) products for free chlorine at pH 7 and 15°C produced a line with a slope less than 1, indicating that the duration of exposure was more important than the concentration of free chlorine. These data indicate that R. salmoninarum is very sensitive to chlorine, and that this disinfectant may be appropriate for use in fish hatcheries rearing salmonids affected by bacterial kidney disease.