DAO 84:95-104 (2009)  -  DOI: https://doi.org/10.3354/dao02032

Pathology, isolation and molecular characterisation of a ranavirus from the common midwife toad Alytes obstetricans on the Iberian Peninsula

Ana Balseiro1,*, Kevin P. Dalton2, Ana del Cerro1, Isabel Marquez1, Andrew A. Cunningham3, Francisco Parra2, José M. Prieto1, R. Casais1

1SERIDA, Servicio Regional de Investigación y Desarrollo Agroalimentario, Laboratorio de Sanidad Animal,
33299 Jove, Gijón, Spain
2Departamento de Bioquímica y Biología Molecular, Instituto Universitario de Biotecnología de Asturias, Universidad de Oviedo, 33006 Oviedo, Spain
3Institute of Zoology, Regent’s Park, London NW1 4RY, UK

ABSTRACT: We describe the pathology, isolation and characterisation of a virus responsible for an outbreak of a systemic haemorrhagic disease causing high mortality in tadpoles of the common midwife toad Alytes obstetricans in the ‘Picos de Europa’ National Park in northern Spain. The virus, provisionally designated as the common midwife toad virus (CMTV), was isolated from homogenates of visceral tissue from diseased toad tadpoles following inoculation on epithelioma papulosum cyprini (EPC) cells. Molecular characterisation of the virus, including sequence analysis of the DNA polymerase and major capsid protein genes, showed that the isolated virus was a ranavirus with marked sequence identity to other members of the genus Ranavirus. A rabbit antiserum raised against purified virions was prepared and used to definitively demonstrate systemic distribution of the virus in diseased tadpoles, indicating that the isolated virus was the primary pathogen.


KEY WORDS: Common midwife toad · Alytes obstetricans · Ranavirus · Pathology · Virology · Immunohistochemistry


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Cite this article as: Balseiro A, Dalton KP, del Cerro A, Marquez I and others (2009) Pathology, isolation and molecular characterisation of a ranavirus from the common midwife toad Alytes obstetricans on the Iberian Peninsula. Dis Aquat Org 84:95-104. https://doi.org/10.3354/dao02032

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