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Diseases of Aquatic Organisms

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DAO 101:69-86 (2012)  -  DOI:

Viral diseases of wild and farmed European eel Anguilla anguilla with particular reference to the Netherlands

Steven J. van Beurden1,2, Marc Y. Engelsma1, Ineke Roozenburg1, Michal A. Voorbergen-Laarman1, Peter W. van Tulden1, Sonja Kerkhoff1, Anton P. van Nieuwstadt1, Aart Davidse1, Olga L. M. Haenen1,*

1Central Veterinary Institute, Wageningen UR, PO Box 65, 8200 AB Lelystad, The Netherlands
2Department of Infectious Diseases and Immunology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Utrecht University, PO Box 80.165, 3508 TD Utrecht, The Netherlands
*Corresponding author. Email:

ABSTRACT: Diseases are an important cause of losses and decreased production rates in freshwater eel farming, and have been suggested to play a contributory role in the worldwide decline in wild freshwater eel stocks. Three commonly detected pathogenic viruses of European eel Anguilla anguilla are the aquabirnavirus eel virus European (EVE), the rhabdovirus eel virus European X (EVEX), and the alloherpesvirus anguillid herpesvirus 1 (AngHV1). In general, all 3 viruses cause a nonspecific haemorrhagic disease with increased mortality rates. This review provides an overview of the current knowledge on the aetiology, prevalence, clinical signs and gross pathology of these 3 viruses. Reported experimental infections showed the temperature dependency and potential pathogenicity of these viruses for eels and other fish species. In addition to the published literature, an overview of the isolation of pathogenic viruses from wild and farmed A. anguilla in the Netherlands during the past 2 decades is given. A total of 249 wild A. anguilla, 39 batches of glass eels intended for farming purposes, and 239 batches of farmed European eels were necropsied and examined virologically. AngHV1 was isolated from wild A. anguilla yellow and silver eels from the Netherlands from 1998 until the present, while EVEX was only found sporadically, and EVE was never isolated. In farmed A. anguilla AngHV1 was also the most commonly isolated virus, followed by EVE and EVEX.

KEY WORDS: Anguillid herpesvirus 1 · Eel virus European · Eel virus European X

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Cite this article as: van Beurden SJ, Engelsma MY, Roozenburg I, Voorbergen-Laarman MA and others (2012) Viral diseases of wild and farmed European eel Anguilla anguilla with particular reference to the Netherlands. Dis Aquat Org 101:69-86.

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