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Dr J I Phillips
08-30-2004, 09:35 AM
A Koi Keeper has asked SAKKS for help. The Koi are in a 75,000 litre pond. There are about 80 of them. Most have skin lesions, similar to that seen in the photos. I have not seen them personally yet but it looks like papilloma to me. Can anything be done for these poor Koi?

Busy B
08-30-2004, 10:00 AM
Is that caused by damage from the sun?

JPR
08-30-2004, 10:02 AM
Hi Dr. Jim, So I understand, are you saying that all or many of the koi show these symptoms? If so, this moves from an individual health issue to a population dynamics and suggests that these are not tumors as one might first suspect if only this one fish were presented.
I did a post on NI in response to Tim ( aussie koi) about lumps on fish. Check it out and see if the protozoan/fungal description is a more appropiate suspect for diagnosis.
Best Regards, JR

Dr J I Phillips
08-31-2004, 03:49 AM
Good Day Mr Reilley
I have not seen this pond myself. It is in a school grounds and the keeper says he tests the water regularly and thee readings are fine. The SAKKS committee member dealing with this problem is having the water analysed at a laboratory. Unfortunately, the parties concerned will be away on business for a few days. I was told that the keeper was considering euthanasia for the affected Koi and that there were many that were affected. It is difficult to net Koi in this large pond (at least 75,000 litres) and a seine net is being organised. Unfortunately, I am on permanent call for a while and will not be able to get out to the pond myself. I have no details but the committee member I am working through says he felt the filtration system was small for the size of pond. However, it has been carrying this fish load for several years. Yes, I know Koi grow, so we are testing the water.
I have read that a Herpes virus has been isolated from papillomas. Perhaps, it could spread to other Koi especially if they are stressed?
I will look for your post on NI.
Many thanks for your input.
Busy Bee - I do not think this is sunburn. I am told that it is not a particularly shallow pond, where you might expect problems due to the sun.

Dr J I Phillips
08-31-2004, 04:01 AM
I think it would be useful to determine whether the lesions are solid tumours or cysts. I will ask the committee member concerned to biopsy a lesion. I can then have it prepared and sectioned in my lab (abuse of resources - again!) for microscopic examination.
That will be my suggestion to the parties concerned.

JPR
08-31-2004, 08:17 AM
Definitely helpful Jim, a simple biopsy. But I would look for the Dermocyst content. protozoa/ fungi hydra as well. And of course the last possibility is some carcinogen in the water. JR

Dr J I Phillips
08-31-2004, 08:24 AM
Thank you
I am not a fish pathologist but I am confident I can identify cysts/protozoa/fungi from a papilloma or solid tissue tumour in a section.
Let us hope the parties involved can organise the biopsy.

JPR
08-31-2004, 10:09 AM
Knowing your background, I'm sure you can! On a side note, I'm always impressed and fascinated by the number of interesting and talented people the koi hobby attracts. I don't know why exactly, but we are indeed blessed with an abundance of gifted people. I'm confident that you will contribute great things to our hobby Dr Jim. JR

Eluned
08-31-2004, 10:33 AM
This does sound like a population issue. Jason raised the issue of hikui on the KoiVet post. I've never seen hikui in person, and know very little about it, but the lesions seem similar. At least in the photos posted, the most severe lesions seem to be confined to patterned areas, though the fins and tail are also affected. Are all the affected koi gosanke, and is there a trend in where the lesions are found?

What causes hikui? Is it a virally induced cancer (like some varieties of human papilloma virus)?

If you can get a biopsy, it would be interesting to see if there is a difference between the tissue on the fins, and that on the patterned areas.

What is the rationale behind euthanizing the affected fish? Do they seem to be sick, or just disfigured? If it is some sort of parasite, all the koi are vulnerable.

Busy B
08-31-2004, 10:35 AM
Not that I even have a clue :o but I found this on a search...

http://www.dcrf.org/fish.htm

cindy
08-31-2004, 12:19 PM
Interesting post on using peroxide for viral warts in koi.

http://mid-south.net/pipermail/aquaponics_mid-south.net/Week-of-Mon-20030714/006676.html

Lee B
08-31-2004, 01:05 PM
Hikui - Duncan has a really informative article on his site, found here:
http://homepage.ntlworld.com/duncan.griffiths//Hikui.htm

What the good Doctor has posted is *NOTHING* like hikui, not even close. :( The fish would be lucky if that's what they had . . . What these fish have is something pretty awful. A biopsy is definitely in order. It does resemble a herpes of a sort (not the KHV type, one of the OTHER types). It looks like it hurts! (and I don't want to get into the "do fish feel pain" BS - it hurts ME to look at it :eek: )

I hope some determination can be made as to what it is: it would be interesting to add to our repetoire (and hope we never see it.)

Lee

Dr J I Phillips
09-01-2004, 03:11 AM
Thank you everyone for the input.
I am not absolutely sure, as the right people are unavailable, but I believe the suggestion of euthanasia was raised as the Koi keeper thought they might be suffering. If this is the keeper's decision I am sure he will not object to a biopsy. If a biopsy is performed I will post the findings.
Busy Bee
Thank you for the link. Very interesting, fish with Crohn's-like disease, I have learned something new. I believe, however, in this case, the water is supplied by a municipality and the QA is excellent.
Lee B
I agree this does not look like Hikui to me. I have seen nothing like this before. Papillomas are about the nearest I have seen to this.

Dr J I Phillips
09-07-2004, 05:22 AM
The latest report is that the lesions do feel cystic rather than solid and can bleed when pressed.
It looks like a biopsy can be performed this coming weekend.

Blammo
09-07-2004, 05:25 AM
The latest report is that the lesions do feel cystic rather than solid and can bleed when pressed.
It looks like a biopsy can be performed this coming weekend. Thanks Jim.
It should be interesting.
Since the whole pond is infected ??? will you be able to check for a transmissable virus ?

Dr J I Phillips
09-07-2004, 07:39 AM
Hi Blammo
The plan is to biopsy a lesion or two and prepare the tissue for histologic examination. There could be indicators of a viral infection eg viral inclusion bodies. A small piece of tissue will be held in reserve that could be processed for electron microscopy. If indicated electron microscopy could be performed to look for virus particles. Until we know more about the nature of these lesions I have no plans for culturing microorganisms.

Ruth
09-07-2004, 10:59 PM
Hi Dr. Phillips,
It appears to me that the largest lesions are in the cells with most color. I can not tell from the pictures if the very dark lesions are the lesions itself or if it is on top of sumi but it looks that way to me and I just thought it was odd. It does appear that there are smaller bumps on the white but the really bad ones appear on the sumi and hi areas----just an observation....
Ruth

Dr J I Phillips
09-08-2004, 03:49 AM
Interesting observation, Ruth. When I have seen hikui, it has always been on the red.
It looks like I am going to have to see these Koi for myself. I had other plans for my Sunday afternoon. A spring clean of all 3 ponds, netting examining and scraping all my Koi. Our temperatures are warming up and now is the time for vigilance.

Dr J I Phillips
09-13-2004, 04:56 AM
I went to see the pond myself. It is in a very nice setting in a school with excellent facilities.
Here is the pumphouse.

Dr J I Phillips
09-13-2004, 04:59 AM
One of two settlement chambers.

Dr J I Phillips
09-13-2004, 05:09 AM
Waterfall at one end of the pond.

Dr J I Phillips
09-13-2004, 05:25 AM
About a quarter of the pond shown. A very difficult pond to net Koi. The largest Koi was about 75cm. Many were over 60 cm the average was over 50cm. Nothing under 40 cm

Dr J I Phillips
09-13-2004, 05:30 AM
With the assistance of Willem de Veer and Richard we managed to net Koi. No new Koi have been added to this pond for over 3 years. The scrapes were clean. No parasites. The pond has bottom drains and is flushed regularly. Water changes are also done on a regular basis.
Some of the Koi had the lesions we want to investigate. Many of the others had carp pox or hikui. Only about 4 had these lesions.

Dr J I Phillips
09-13-2004, 05:40 AM
There were raised, grey/pink lesions all over the body but mainly above the lateral line. They seem to enlarge in area and height. The larger lesions become a darker red colour. They are firm to the touch. At biopsy they did not appear cystic.
I anaesthetized with clove oil and biopsied (along the white lines). The wound was treated with a commercial topical, containing malachite green, that seals the wound. The wound sealed with the topical preparation and there was no indication to suture. There was no bleeding and the Koi recovered fully from the anaesthetic.

Carloskoi
09-13-2004, 07:35 AM
i have a fish i got from another hobbiest that has similar looking lesions.

i was told that he injured himself in a spawning accident a few months before i got him.

Could this be the case with your fish?

Dr J I Phillips
09-13-2004, 08:45 AM
Hi Carloskoi
These lesions appeared over winter. It is early Spring here, spawning has not started yet. They look like growths, not injuries.

Dr J I Phillips
09-14-2004, 08:01 AM
At biopsy the lesions were solid, not cystic. Here is the dark red lesion.

Ruth
09-14-2004, 01:43 PM
Hi Dr. Phillips,
Curious.... have the pond keepers used a lot of formalin/malachite green or other carcinogencis on routine basis?
Ruth

Dr J I Phillips
09-15-2004, 03:27 AM
I will have to ask. They have not had parasites in the last 3 or 4 years so no need to treat during this period. They did have problems with a batch of Koi from a dealer prior to that. The dealer replaced the Koi that died with his "rejects" so some of the Koi have the odd fin missing etc.
I am told no chemicals were used.

Dr J I Phillips
09-23-2004, 03:20 AM
I have seen the histology slides. The lesions are tumours. They are both the same type of tumour so it is reasonable to assume that the flatter, grey-pink lesions enlarge to become more raised and dark red in colour. I have had digital images made and I'll post the one here. It shows spindle cells with a storiform pattern. There is a mixture of acute and chronic inflammatory cells. Pigment laden macrophages are also seen. Mitotic activety is not a feature.
Essentially, we have a fibrohistiocytic proliferation that looks like the human equivalent of DFSP (dermatofibroma protruberans). The lesion might be expected to be a low-grade, locally aggresive tumour. In other words if you tried to remove the tumour it would recur.
I spoke to one fish doctor who said he has seen something similar. He tried to cut out the lesion but it grew back.
I have not had a chance to do a complete literature survey but I have not come across a description of this type of cutaneous lesion in a Koi.
Do any of the Veterinarians out there think it is worth a formal description in a peer reviewed Journal?

willemDV
09-23-2004, 07:40 AM
I will have to ask. They have not had parasites in the last 3 or 4 years so no need to treat during this period. They did have problems with a batch of Koi from a dealer prior to that. The dealer replaced the Koi that died with his "rejects" so some of the Koi have the odd fin missing etc.
I am told no chemicals were used.
Hi Jim No there has not been any chemicals added to the pond

Dr J I Phillips
09-23-2004, 08:22 AM
Nice to have a SAKKS committee member and www.SAKKS.co.za webmaster here.
The water tests are coming back - slowly - so far nothing fishy in the water. The parameters all look good. We are testing for heavy metals etc as well.

2manykoi
09-27-2004, 06:09 PM
Did you happen to do any immunohistochemical stains of the tissue? One of the first things I thought when I saw the gross photos was some type of hemangioma/hemangiosarcoma. But I know how deceptive veterinary histopathology can be for those of us who are just plain old human pathologists. :rolleyes:

Alane

Dr J I Phillips
09-28-2004, 03:54 AM
Hi Alane
Thanks for the input.
The slides were reviewed by my colleagues and there was agreement that this was the human equivalent of DFSP. We did not consider performing ICC stains. Would Koi cells have the same antigens as humans? One suggestion was to perform a ZN stain for mycobacteria. I think because of the histiocytes and the knowledge of fish tank granuloma.
I think these images are new.

Blammo
09-28-2004, 05:47 AM
The site appears to be getting invaded with Doctors and S. Africanz !:eek:
Thats a good thing !:)
Now where is that elusive S.A. Koi breeder, Jaco Vorster ;)

2manykoi
09-28-2004, 11:42 PM
Hi Alane
Thanks for the input.
The slides were reviewed by my colleagues and there was agreement that this was the human equivalent of DFSP. We did not consider performing ICC stains. Would Koi cells have the same antigens as humans? One suggestion was to perform a ZN stain for mycobacteria. I think because of the histiocytes and the knowledge of fish tank granuloma.
I think these images are new.

Good question about antigens - that occurred to me after I posted, and I don't know the answer, though my guess would be, "No". Are you going to do the ZN stain? That might be particularly interesting in light of the fact that this seems to be affecting a population.... Any possibility of culturing one of these lesions?

Alane (the forensic pathologist who hates dermatopathology)

Dr J I Phillips
09-29-2004, 02:44 AM
Our surgical pathologists are happy with the DFSP-like diagnosis. From other accounts in fish, the differential diagnosis seem to be a fibrosarcoma. Looking at growth patterns, this tumour has a storiform pattern and not the herring bone pattern seen in fibrosarcomas.
I am trying to read up on sarcoma viruses in fish. My library does not have much in the way of veterinary journals.

Chris Koi
02-19-2005, 01:37 PM
Hi Jim
I pesonaly think we as SAKKS members must assist this koi keeper with his koi keeping and let him have a lesson on how to look after his koi ,or lets help the poor koi as myself help HARRY'S koi called (Reggie) with the same symtems and was healed completly.Jim you must give me the koi keeper name and address so we can assist him
Regards
Chris Koi








A Koi Keeper has asked SAKKS for help. The Koi are in a 75,000 litre pond. There are about 80 of them. Most have skin lesions, similar to that seen in the photos. I have not seen them personally yet but it looks like papilloma to me. Can anything be done for these poor Koi?