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Experimental infection of six North American fish species with the North Carolina strain of spring Viremia of Carp Virus

August 31, 2015

Spring viremia of carp virus (SVCV) is a rhabdoviral pathogen associated with disease outbreaks in cultured and wild fish worldwide. Common carp (Cyprinus carpio carp), and koi (C. carpio koi) suffer the highest mortalities from SVCV infections, while other cyprinid fish species have varying susceptibility. Although salmonid fish typically are considered refractory to infection by SVCV, there have been a few reports suggesting infection has occurred in rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss). There have been no reports of Percid fish being infected with SVCV. Since the first North American outbreak of SVCV at a North Carolina koi farm in 2002 there have been eight subsequent detections or outbreaks of SVCV among fish species from the families of Cyprinidae andCentrarchidae within the US and Canada. Thus, this exotic virus is considered a potential threat to native and cultured fish populations in North America. We performed multiple experimental challenges with fish species from three families (Salmonidae, Cyprinidae, and Percidae) to identify the potential risk associated with SVCV exposure of resident fish populations in North America.

Three salmonid species, rainbow and steelhead trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss), Chinook salmon (O. tshawytscha), and sockeye salmon (O. nerka), were challenged by immersion or injection with the North Carolina SVCV isolate. Two cyprinid species, koi and fathead minnow (Pimephales promelas) and one percid species, yellow perch (Perca flavescens) were also challenged. Koi were highly susceptible to SVCV up to 11 months of age and fathead minnows had chronic disease expression with moderate mortality (29%). SVCV also induced moderate mortalities (33%) in yellow perch fry. Virus challenged salmonid fish had cumulative percent mortalities ranging from 0 to 100%, with sockeye salmon fry being the most vulnerable. A sub-sample of mortalities and survivors were screened for virus by plaque assay and reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction. In general, all mortalities tested positive for SVCV with high viral titers while survivors had variable persistence of SVCV with overall lower virus titers. Our SVCV challenges of multiple North American fish species suggested that host age is a key factor in determining disease outcome. Other factors, such as fish broodstock, virus strain, water temperature, and rearing conditions in association with the intrinsic level of species susceptibility may also impact infection dynamics. This is the first report of SVCV infecting a species (yellow perch) in the family Percidae and that sockeye salmon fry can suffer similarly high mortalities as the primary SVCV host species.

Publication Year 2016
Title Experimental infection of six North American fish species with the North Carolina strain of spring Viremia of Carp Virus
DOI 10.1016/j.aquaculture.2015.07.007
Authors Eveline J. Emmenegger, George E. Sanders, Carla M. Conway, Fred P. Binkowski, James R. Winton, Gael Kurath
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Aquaculture
Index ID 70156835
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Western Fisheries Research Center