DAO 82:27-36 (2008)  -  DOI: https://doi.org/10.3354/dao01961

Transmission of iridovirus from freshwater ornamental fish (pearl gourami) to marine fish (rock bream)

Joon Bum Jeong1, Hye Jin Cho2, Lyu Jin Jun2, Su Hee Hong3, Joon-Ki Chung2, Hyun Do Jeong2,*

1Faculty of Applied Marine Science, College of Ocean Science, Cheju National University, Ara 1 dong, Jeju-do 690-756, South Korea
2Department of Aquatic Life Medicine, Pukyong National University, Daeyeon 3 dong, Nam-gu, Busan 608-737, South Korea
3Faculty of Marine Bioscience and Technology, Kangnung National University, Kangnung 210-702, South Korea
*Corresponding author. Email:

ABSTRACT: Freshwater pearl gourami Trichogaster leeri and seawater rock bream Oplegnathus fasciatus infected by the iridoviruses PGIV-SP and IVS-1 were carrying similar numbers of viral particles (2.52 × 108 and 2.46 × 108 viral genome copies mg–1 spleen tissue, respectively). The viral genome copy number for both iridoviruses decreased much faster in seawater than in freshwater, reaching a concentration of less than 0.5%, versus 26 to 54% in freshwater, after 4 d of incubation at 25°C. The decrease in copy number altered the infectivity of the viruses, as reflected by the decreased cumulative mortality of rock bream injected intraperitoneally with the incubated iridoviruses. Moreover, uninfected rock bream cohabitated with PGIV-SP-challenged rock bream showed 100% cumulative mortality; a similar experiment using IVS-1 had the same result, implying the potential for iridoviral transmission from freshwater ornamental fish to marine fish even in a marine environment. Of 58 outwardly healthy marine fish groups collected from various markets, 2 rock bream groups and 1 sea perch group Lateolabrax sp. tested positive for PGIV-SP by 2-step polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Thus, PGIV-SP from freshwater ornamental fish may have crossed both environmental and species barriers to infect marine fish such as rock bream.


KEY WORDS: Cross-infection · Cohabitation · Megalocytivirus · Real-time PCR · Pearl gourami · Trichogaster leeri · Rock bream · Oplegnathus fasciatus


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Cite this article as: Jeong JB, Cho HJ, Jun LJ, Hong SH, Chung JK, Jeong HD (2008) Transmission of iridovirus from freshwater ornamental fish (pearl gourami) to marine fish (rock bream). Dis Aquat Org 82:27-36. https://doi.org/10.3354/dao01961

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