First isolation of Mycobacterium spp. in Mullus spp. in Turkey

Document Type : Full paper (Original article)


1 Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Livestock, Provincial Directorate of Çorum, Çorum, Turkey

2 Department of Aquaculture, Faculty of Fisheries, University of Mersin, 33169 Mersin, Turkey


Ichthyozoonotic Mycobacterium spp. poses health risks both to fish and humans. In this study, the presence of ichthyozoonotic Mycobacterium spp. was investigated in red mullet (Mullus barbatus barbatus) and surmullet (Mullus surmuletus), widely caught species in the Mediterranean and the Aegean Sea. A total of 208 fish samples, provided from fishermen of Mersin province (Turkey) were studied. Using conventional methods, Mycobacterium spp. was isolated and identified at the genus level by PCR and at the species level by PCR-RFLP. Thirteen Mycobacterium spp. were detected in 13 (6.25%) fish samples. Four mycobacteria were identified as M. genavense, three as M. fortuitum, three as M. scrofulaceum, one as M. marinum, one as M. vaccae and one as M. aurum. No signs of mycobacteriosis were observed in fish samples. Findings of this study can contribute to future studies of onichthyozoonotic Mycobacterium spp. in seafood.