DAO 119:239-244 (2016)  -  DOI: https://doi.org/10.3354/dao02995

NOTE
First outbreak of an infection with infectious spleen and kidney necrosis virus (ISKNV) in ornamental fish in Germany

Verena Jung-Schroers1,*, Mikolaj Adamek1, Peter Wohlsein2, Jan Wolter3, Helmut Wedekind4, Dieter Steinhagen1

1Fish Disease Research Unit, University of Veterinary Medicine, 30559 Hannover, Germany
2Department of Pathology, University of Veterinary Medicine, 30559 Hannover, Germany
3Zierfischpraxis (Veterinary Practice for Ornamental Fishes), Tegeler Weg 24, 10589 Berlin, Germany
4Institute for Fisheries, Bavarian State Research Center for Agriculture, 82319 Starnberg, Germany
*‑Corresponding author:

ABSTRACT: In 2014, infectious spleen and kidney necrosis virus (ISKNV), a member of the genus Megalocytivirus, was detected for the first time in ornamental fish in Germany. Since 2013, angelfish Pterophyllum spp. originating from Colombia have experienced significant epizootics in a number of German retailers’ facilities. The diseased fish showed symptoms such as increased ventilation, swollen gills, and ulcerations of the skin. In 2014, diseased angelfish P. altum and platys Xiphophorus maculatus maintained in the same recirculating system were examined. Histopathological lesions included hypertrophic cells, single-cell necrosis, and an inflammatory infiltration of granulocytes, lymphocytes, and macrophages in liver, spleen, and kidney. Transmission electron microscopy revealed the presence of numerous polygonal viral particles (150 nm in diameter) within the cytoplasm of enlarged cells. A PCR assay for the detection of megalocytiviruses amplified 777 bp of major capsid protein gene that was 100% identical to ISKNV. This is the first report of an ISKNV outbreak in Germany that most probably was introduced by infected angelfish from Colombia. To our knowledge, this is the first report of ISKNV detected in fish imported from South America. Given the lethal nature of megalocytiviruses, proper biosecurity would seem prudent in countries like Germany where these emerging pathogens are not established.


KEY WORDS: Infectious spleen and kidney necrosis virus · Megalocytivirus · Iridoviridae · Angelfish · Pterophyllum sp. · Xiphophorus maculatus


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Cite this article as: Jung-Schroers V, Adamek M, Wohlsein P, Wolter J, Wedekind H, Steinhagen D (2016) First outbreak of an infection with infectious spleen and kidney necrosis virus (ISKNV) in ornamental fish in Germany. Dis Aquat Org 119:239-244. https://doi.org/10.3354/dao02995

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