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Spring Viremia of Carp Virus

Spring viremia of carp virus (SVCV) is a rhabdoviral pathogen that frequently decimates common carp (Cyprinus carpio carpio) stocks throughout Europe. In fish species that succumb to infection by SVCV, the spleen, kidney, intestines, and air bladder are typically inflamed, hemorrhaging, or swollen. Disease progression leads to necrosis of the internal organs and eventually death.

Until the first outbreak in 2002, SVCV had never been reported in North America. Isolations of this exotic virus in recent years and the import restrictions placed on SVCV susceptible fish are warnings of the potential invasiveness and impact SVCV could have on vulnerable fish stocks.

SVCV Timeline in the United States

Koi (Cyprinus carpio koi) infected with SVCV
Koi (Cyprinus carpio koi) infected with SVCV.


  • Yearling koi began dying from SVCV in one pond at one of the largest koi production facilities in the United States.
  • 15,000 fish died from SVCV and another 135,000 fish were euthanized from ponds located both in North Carolina and Virginia.
  • More than 1,500 dead wild carp washed up on the shores of a Wisconsin lake; the causative agent of the epidemic was SVCV.


  • The virus was isolated from a healthy common carp during a fish health screening in an Illinois water channel that is linked to Lake Michigan.


  • 2 outbreaks of SVCV, one at a private koi pond in Washington State and the other at a commercial koi hatchery in Missouri.


  • SVCV was found for the first time in Canada in common carp from Lake Ontario. These fish were scheduled for shipment to France, but the virus was detected during an exportation disease screening.
  • USDA instituted regulations restricting the importation of live fish, fertilized eggs, and gametes of specific fish species susceptible to SVCV.