DAO 21:115-122 (1995)  -  doi:10.3354/dao021115

Characterization of a rhabdovirus isolated from carpione Salmo trutta carpio in Italy

Bovo G, Olesen NJ, Jorgensen PEV, Ahne W, Winton JR

ABSTRACT: A virus, strain 583, was isolated from carpione Salmo trutta carpio fry exhibiting high mortality. The virus was not neutralized by rabbit antisera against the fish rhabdoviruses viral haemorrhagic septicaemia virus (VHSV), infectious hematopoietic necrosis virus, eel rhabdovirus European X, spring viraemia of carp virus or pike fry rhabdovirus, or against the birnavirus infectious pancreatic necrosis virus. The virus replicated in several fish cell lines incubated at 20 to 25*C and grew optimally in the bluegill fry (BF-2) and fathead minnow (FHM) cell lines. Electron microscopy of infected BF-2 cell cultures revealed the presence of typical rhabdovirus particles, and immunofluorescent staining was observed using various polyclonal and monoclonal antibodies (MAbs) against Egtved virus, the causative agent of viral haemorrhagic septicaemia. The staining by a MAb against the nucleoprotein (N) of VHSV was particularly strong, a MAb against the glycoprotein (G) gave a moderate reaction, whereas a second MAb against the G protein and MAbs against the matrix proteins, M_(1) and M_(2), of VHSV did not react. Fluorescence titres using 3 rabbit antisera against whole Egtved virus varied between negative and moderately positive. Western blotting using polyclonal and monoclonal sera confirmed that both the N and G proteins of the carpione virus shared some epitopes with those of VHSV, but the M_(1) and M_(2) proteins did not. SDS-PAGE showed the structural proteins of the carpione virus produced a pattern typical of members of the Lyssavirus genus of the Rhabdoviridae and the molecular weights were very similar to those of VHSV, except for the M_(2) protein which was somewhat smaller. Infection trials showed the carpione virus induced high mortalities in carpione fry but not in rainbow trout Oncorhynchus mykiss fry. The carpione virus was clearly distinguishable from Egtved virus despite limited serological cross reaction. Since it was also easily distinguishable by immunofluorescence from the other fish rhabdoviruses included in the present study as well as in studies published elsewhere, it is concluded that the virus is a previously undescribed one. It is proposed that the virus be given the preliminary designation 'carpione rhabdovirus'.

KEY WORDS: Rhabdovirus . Carpione Salmo trutta carpio . Fish virus

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