DAO 50:171-179 (2002)  -  doi:10.3354/dao050171

Isolation of viral hemorrhagic septicemia virus from Greenland halibut Reinhardtius hippoglossoides caught at the Flemish Cap

C. P. Dopazo1,*, I. Bandín1, C. López-Vazquez1, J. Lamas2, M. Noya2, J. L. Barja1

1Departamento de Microbioloxía e Parasitoloxía, and
2Departamento de Bioloxía Celular, Instituto de Acuicultura/Facultade de Bioloxía, Universidade de Santiago de Compostela, 15782, Spain
*E-mail:

ABSTRACT: Viral hemorrhagic septicemia virus (VHSV) was isolated from apparently healthy Greenland halibut Reinhardtius hippoglossoides caught in the Flemish Cap, a deep fishing ground in the North Atlantic Ocean in international waters near Newfoundland. The identity of the virus was confirmed by electron microscopy, immunodot, seroneutralization and reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction. In the serology assays, all isolates reacted in the immunodot assay with a polyclonal antiserum against the European VHSV Type Strain F1, and were neutralized by the same antiserum, although most of the strains showed low or moderate neutralization titers. None of the isolates were detected by immunofluorescence using a specific monoclonal antibody against a nucleocapsid-related protein of VHSV F1. This is the first report of VHSV isolated from wild Greenland halibut, which represents a new host species for the virus, and it is also the first evidence of VHSV in a location close to the Atlantic coast of North America. This isolation indicates that VHSV is more widely distributed than has been thought, and appears to support a marine origin of this virus.


KEY WORDS: Viral hemorrhagic septicemia virus · VHSV · Greenland halibut · Wild fish


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