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Diseases of Aquatic Organisms

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DAO 131:187-197 (2018)  -  DOI: https://doi.org/10.3354/dao03301

Wild fish are negligible transmitters of viral haemorrhagic septicaemia virus (VHSV) genotype Id in the VHS restriction zone in Finland

Pia Vennerström1,*, Elina Välimäki1, Maria Hautaniemi2, Tapani Lyytikäinen3, Suvi Kapiainen1, Gabriele Vidgren4, Anna-Maija Virtala5

1Production Animal and Wildlife Health Research Unit, Finnish Food Safety Authority, 00790 Helsinki, Finland
2Virology Research Unit, Finnish Food Safety Authority, 00790 Helsinki, Finland
3Risk Assessment Research Unit, Finnish Food Safety Authority, 00790 Helsinki, Finland
4Department of Pathology, Finnish Food Safety Authority, 00790 Helsinki, Finland
5Department of Veterinary Biosciences, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Helsinki, 00014 University of Helsinki, Finland
*Corresponding author:

ABSTRACT: Wild fish were suspected to be the source of reinfection by viral haemorrhagic septicaemia virus (VHSV) in Finnish brackish water rainbow trout farms located in a restriction zone regarding viral haemorrhagic septicaemia (VHS) comprising the entire Province of Åland, Baltic Sea, in the 2000s. Altogether, 1636 wild fish of 17 different species living in the vicinity of infected fish farms were screened for VHSV during the years 2005-2008. Additionally, 2 uninfected wild fish species as well as farmed whitefish were introduced into a VHS-positive fish farm to test whether they became infected by VHSV from the clinically diseased rainbow trout. Wild fish did not test positive for VHSV on any occasion. In contrast, whitefish introduced to a VHS-positive farm were infected with VHSV genotype Id and started to replicate the virus for a short time during the trial. Whitefish are farmed together with, or in the vicinity of, farmed rainbow trout in the study area and, according to this study, are a possible source of the recurring infection in the restriction area. A sprivivirus was isolated from all fish species in the infection trial without causing mortality in the test groups.


KEY WORDS: Viral hemorrhagic septicemia · VHSV · Aquaculture · Disease control · Whitefish · Wild fish · Carrier · Epidemiology


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Cite this article as: Vennerström P, Välimäki E, Hautaniemi M, Lyytikäinen T, Kapiainen S, Vidgren G, Virtala AM (2018) Wild fish are negligible transmitters of viral haemorrhagic septicaemia virus (VHSV) genotype Id in the VHS restriction zone in Finland. Dis Aquat Org 131:187-197. https://doi.org/10.3354/dao03301

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