DAO 86:181-191 (2009)  -  DOI: https://doi.org/10.3354/dao02096

Mass mortality associated with a frog virus 3- like Ranavirus infection in farmed tadpoles Rana catesbeiana from Brazil

Rolando Mazzoni1,*, Albenones José de Mesquita2, Luiz Fernando F. Fleury3, Wilia Marta Elsner Diederichsen de Brito4, Iolanda A. Nunes2, Jacques Robert5, Heidi Morales5, Alexandre Siqueira Guedes Coelho6, Denise Leão Barthasson4, Leonardo Galli1, Marcia H. B. Catroxo7

1Instituto de Investigaciones Pesqueras, Facultad de Veterinaria, Universidad de la República, Tomás Basañez 1160, Montevideo 11300, Uruguay
2Centro de Pesquisa em Alimentos, Escola de Veterinária, Universidade Federal de Goiás, Campus Samambaia (Campus II),  Caixa postal 131, CEP 74001-970, Goiânia-GO, Brazil
3Departamento de Patologia e Imaginologia, Faculdade de Medicina, Universidade Federal de Goiás, 1a Avenida s/n, Setor Universitário 74605-050, Goiânia-GO, Brazil
4Laboratório de Virologia Animal, Setor Microbiologia, Instituto de Patologia Tropical e Saude Pública, Universidade Federal de Goiás, Rua 235 s/n, Setor Universitário 74605-050, Goiânia-GO, Brazil
5Department of Microbiology and Immunology, University of Rochester Medical Center, 601 Elmwood Avenue, Rochester,  New York 14642, USA
6Escola de Agronomia e Engenharia de Alimentos, Universidade Federal de Goiás, Campus Samambaia, CEP 74001–970, Goiânia-GO, Brazil
7Laboratório de Microscopia Eletrônica, Centro de Pesquisa e Desenvolvimento de Sanidade Animal, Instituto Biológico, Av. Cons. Rodrigues Alves 1252, CEP 04014-002, São Paulo-SP, Brazil

ABSTRACT: Ranaviruses (Iridoviridae) are increasingly associated with mortality events in amphibians, fish, and reptiles. They have been recently associated with mass mortality events in Brazilian farmed tadpoles of the American bullfrog Rana catesbeiana Shaw, 1802. The objectives of the present study were to further characterize the virus isolated from sick R. catesbeiana tadpoles and confirm the etiology in these outbreaks. Sick tadpoles were collected in 3 farms located in Goiás State, Brazil, from 2003 to 2005 and processed for virus isolation and characterization, microbiology, histopathology, and parasitology. The phylogenetic relationships of Rana catesbeiana ranavirus (RCV-BR) with other genus members was investigated by PCR with primers specific for the major capsid protein gene (MCP) and the RNA polymerase DNA-dependent gene (Pol II). Sequence analysis and multiple alignments for MCP products showed >99% amino acid identity with other ranaviruses, while Pol II products showed 100% identity. Further diagnostics of the pathology including histology and transmission electron microscopy confirmed the viral etiology of these mass deaths. As far as we know, this is the first report of a ranaviral infection affecting aquatic organisms in Brazil. Additionally, our results suggest that American bullfrogs may have served as a vector of transmission of this virus, which highlights the potential threat of amphibian translocation in the world distribution of pathogens.


KEY WORDS: Iridovirus · FV3 · Ranavirus · Rana catesbeiana


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Cite this article as: Mazzoni R, Mesquita AJ, Fleury LFF, Brito WMED and others (2009) Mass mortality associated with a frog virus 3- like Ranavirus infection in farmed tadpoles Rana catesbeiana from Brazil. Dis Aquat Org 86:181-191. https://doi.org/10.3354/dao02096

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