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Analytical and diagnostic validation of a molecular test to detect and discriminate IHNV genogroups U and M

July 11, 2022

Infectious hematopoietic necrosis virus (IHNV) is an acute pathogen of salmonids in North America, Europe and Asia that is phylogenetically classified into five major virus genogroups (U, M, L, E and J). The geographic range of the U and M genogroup isolates overlap in the North American Columbia River Basin and Washington Coast region, where these genogroups pose different risks depending on the species of Pacific salmon (Oncorhynchus spp.). For certain management decisions, there is a need to both test for IHNV presence and rapidly determine the genogroup. Herein, we report the development and validation of a U/M multiplex reverse transcription, real-time PCR (RT-rPCR) assay targeting the IHNV nucleocapsid (N) protein gene. The new U/M RT-rPCR is a rapid, sensitive, and repeatable assay capable of specifically discriminating between North American U and M genogroup IHNV isolates. However, one M genogroup isolate obtained from commercially cultured Idaho rainbow trout (O. mykiss) showed reduced sensitivity with the RT-rPCR test, suggesting caution may be warranted before applying RT-rPCR as the sole surveillance test in areas associated with the Idaho trout industry. The new U/M assay had high diagnostic sensitivity (DSe greater than 94%) and specificity (DSp greater than 97%) in free-ranging adult Pacific salmon, when assessed relative to cell culture (reference standard) and the previously validated universal N RT-rPCR. The good diagnostic performance of the new U/M assay indicates the new test is suitable for surveillance, diagnosis, and confirmation of IHNV in Pacific salmon from the Pacific Northwest regions where the U and M genogroups overlap.

Publication Year 2022
Title Analytical and diagnostic validation of a molecular test to detect and discriminate IHNV genogroups U and M
DOI 10.5066/P963M863
Authors William N Batts, Tony R Capps, Lisa M Crosson, Rachel L Powers, Rachel B Breyta, Maureen Purcell
Product Type Data Release
Record Source USGS Digital Object Identifier Catalog
USGS Organization Western Fisheries Research Center (WFRC)