DAO 104:93-104 (2013)  -  DOI: https://doi.org/10.3354/dao02588

Molecular epidemiology of viral haemorrhagic septicaemia virus (VHSV) in British Columbia, Canada, reveals transmission from wild to farmed fish

Kyle A. Garver1,*, Garth S. Traxler1, Laura M. Hawley1, Jon Richard1, Jay P. Ross1, Jan Lovy1,2

1Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Pacific Biological Station, 3190 Hammond Bay Road, Nanaimo, British Columbia V9T 6N7, Canada
2Present address: New Jersey Division of Fish & Wildlife, Office of Fish & Wildlife Health & Forensics, 605 Pequest Rd, Oxford, New Jersey 07863, USA

ABSTRACT: Viral haemorrhagic septicaemia virus (VHSV) is a fish pathogen found throughout the Northern Hemisphere and is capable of infecting and causing mortality in numerous marine and freshwater hosts. In the coastal waters of British Columbia, Canada, the virus has been detected for 20 yr with many occurrences of mass mortalities among populations of Pacific herring Clupea pallasii (Valenciennes) and sardine Sardinops sagax as well as detections among cultured Atlantic Salmo salar and Chinook Oncorhynchus tshawytscha salmon. We compared nucleotide sequence of the full glycoprotein (G) gene coding region (1524 nt) of 63 VHSV isolates sampled during its recorded presence from 1993 to 2011 from 6 species and a total of 29 sites. Phylogenetic analysis showed that all isolates fell into sub-lineage IVa within the major VHSV genetic group IV. Of the 63 virus isolates, there were 42 unique sequences, each of which was ephemeral, being repeatedly detected at most only 1 yr after its initial detection. Multiple sequence types were revealed during single viral outbreak events, and genetic heterogeneity was observed within isolates from individual fish. Moreover, phylogenetic analysis revealed a close genetic linkage between VHSV isolates obtained from pelagic finfish species and farmed salmonids, providing evidence for virus transmission from wild to farmed fish.


KEY WORDS: Salmo salar · Oncorhynchus tshawytscha · Clupea pallasii · Sardinops sagax · Glycoprotein · G gene · Phylogenetic analysis


Full text in pdf format 
Supplementary material 
Cite this article as: Garver KA, Traxler GS, Hawley LM, Richard J, Ross J, Lovy J (2013) Molecular epidemiology of viral haemorrhagic septicaemia virus (VHSV) in British Columbia, Canada, reveals transmission from wild to farmed fish. Dis Aquat Org 104:93-104. https://doi.org/10.3354/dao02588

Export citation
Mail this link - Contents Mailing Lists - RSS
- -