DAO 119:231-238 (2016)  -  DOI: https://doi.org/10.3354/dao03003

Water temperature affects pathogenicity of different betanodavirus genotypes in experimentally challenged Dicentrarchus labrax 

Anna Toffan*, Valentina Panzarin, Marica Toson, Krizia Cecchettin, Francesco Pascoli

Istituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale delle Venezie, National Reference Centre for Fish, Mollusk and Crustacean Diseases, Viale dell’Università 10, 35020 Legnaro (PD), Italy
*Corresponding author:

ABSTRACT: Betanodaviruses are the causative agents of a highly infectious disease of fish known as viral nervous necrosis (VNN). To date, 4 different nervous necrosis virus (NNV) genotypes have been described, but natural reassortant viruses have also been detected, which further increase viral variability. Water temperature plays an important role in determining the appearance and the severity of VNN disease. We assessed the effect of temperature (20°, 25° and 30°C) on mortality and virus load in the brain of European sea bass Dicentrarchus labrax experimentally infected with 4 genetically different betanodaviruses, namely red-spotted grouper NNV (RGNNV), striped jack NNV (SJNNV) and the reassortant strains RGNNV/SJNNV and SJNNV/RGNNV. The RGNNV/SJNNV virus possesses the polymerase gene of RGNNV and the coat protein gene of SJNNV, and vice versa for the SJNNV/RGNNV virus. The obtained results showed that the RGNNV strain is the most pathogenic for juvenile sea bass, but clinical disease and mortality appeared only at higher temperatures. The SJNNV strain is weakly pathogenic for D. labrax regardless of the temperature used, while virus replication was detected in the brain of survivors only at 20°C. Finally, reassortant strains caused low mortality, independent of the temperature used, but the viral load in the brain was strongly influenced by water temperature and the genetic type of the polymerase gene. Taken together, these data show that nodavirus replication in vivo is a composite process regulated by both the genetic features of the viral strain and water temperatures.


KEY WORDS: Viral nervous necrosis · European sea bass · Reassortant · RGNNV · SJNNV · Infection


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Cite this article as: Toffan A, Panzarin V, Toson M, Cecchettin K, Pascoli F (2016) Water temperature affects pathogenicity of different betanodavirus genotypes in experimentally challenged Dicentrarchus labrax . Dis Aquat Org 119:231-238. https://doi.org/10.3354/dao03003

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