DAO 112:121-130 (2014)  -  DOI: https://doi.org/10.3354/dao02801

Genetic diversity and associated pathology of rhabdovirus infections in farmed and wild perch Perca fluviatilis in Ireland

N. M. Ruane1, H. D. Rodger2, L. J. McCarthy1, D. Swords1, M. Dodge3, R. C. Kerr3, K. Henshilwood1, D. M. Stone3,*

1Fish Health Unit, Marine Institute, Rinville, Oranmore, Co. Galway, Ireland
2Vet Aqua International, Unit 7B, Oranmore Business Park, Oranmore, Co. Galway, Ireland
3Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (Cefas), Barrack Road, Weymouth, Dorset DT4 8UB, UK
*Corresponding author:

ABSTRACT: Rhabdovirus infections are an emerging problem for both wild and farmed freshwater fish in Northern Europe. In October 2005, a clinical outbreak with an approximate mortality rate of 40% occurred in a single batch of juvenile perch on a farm in the Republic of Ireland. Clinical signs developed slowly and were consistent with a perch rhabdovirus infection: signs included haemorrhages at the base of the fins and apparent impairment of the central nervous system (manifested as loss of equilibrium and erratic swimming behaviour). Studies suggest that the infected fish originated from a hatchery within the country which relied on wild fish broodstock to supplement the production of perch juveniles. A related rhabdovirus was subsequently isolated from this hatchery. Virus isolation studies have shown that rhabdoviruses were often isolated from wild fish in the vicinity of the hatchery between 1993 and 2005. All isolates were analysed using a generic primer set specific for the L gene of fish vesiculotype viruses. Phylogenetic analysis revealed that all isolates recovered from perch clustered together with the European lake trout rhabdovirus (903/87) of the genus Perhabdovirus. In addition to this, anguillid rhabdovirus was isolated from eel, and the partial L-gene sequence of a previously reported isolate from tench clustered with the pike fry rhabdoviruses, in the genus Sprivivirus.


KEY WORDS: European lake trout rhabdovirus · Rhabdovirus · Perhabdovirus


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Cite this article as: Ruane NM, Rodger HD, McCarthy LJ, Swords D and others (2014) Genetic diversity and associated pathology of rhabdovirus infections in farmed and wild perch Perca fluviatilis in Ireland. Dis Aquat Org 112:121-130. https://doi.org/10.3354/dao02801

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