Vibrio viscosus and Vibrio wodanis are recently described species of psychrotropic bacteria that have been found associated with a disease called 'winter ulcer', affecting salmonid fish reared in saline water in Norway, Iceland and recently in Scotland. V. viscosus and V. wodanis strains initially isolated from fish in Iceland and Norway were subjected to characterization using biochemical tests, SDS-PAGE of whole-cell proteins and a novel DNA fingerprinting method, amplified fragment length polymorphism (AFLP). The V. viscosus strains isolated from diseased fish grouped into homogeneous subgroups according to geographical origin and challenge experiments revealed that representatives of these groups are virulent. The results revealed that the V. wodanis strains are heterogeneous genotypically and phenotypically. Sequencing of almost complete 16S rRNA genes of V. viscosus and V. wodanis revealed that V. viscosus showed a 99.1% sequence similarity to Moritella marina and V. wodanis showed a 98.8% sequence similarity to Vibrio logei CIP 103204. A reclassification of Vibrio viscosus as Moritella viscosa comb. nov. is proposed.


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