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Diseases of Aquatic Organisms

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DAO 33:1-9 (1998)  -  doi:10.3354/dao033001

Isolation and characterization of iridoviruses from the giant toad Bufo marinus in Venezuela

Z. Zupanovic1, C. Musso2, G. Lopez2, C.-L. Louriero2, A. D. Hyatt1,*, S. Hengstberger1, A. J. Robinson3

1Australian Animal Health Laboratory, PO Bag 24, Geelong, Victoria 3220, Australia
2Centro de Microbiologia y Biologia Celular, Instituto Venezolano de Investigaciones Cientificas, Apartado Postal 21827, Caracas, Venezuela
3Division of Wildlife and Ecology, Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation, PO Box 84, Lyneham, Canberra 2602, Australia
*Addressee for correspondence. E-mail:

In this communication we describe for the first time the isolation of 7 iridoviruses from the toad Bufo marinus and an unknown species of frog Leptodactylus in Venezuela, South America. The viruses are icosahedral with electron-dense cores, each of which is surrounded by an inner membrane, capsid and a cell-derived envelope. The virus(es) have an average vertex to vertex diameter of 160 nm and replicate in the cytoplasm of a range of cell lines. Within the cytoplasm of infected cells, rarified areas could be observed; structures lacked cellular organelles and contained complete, empty and developing viruses. Results from antigen-capture enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISA) with polyclonal antibody raised against epizootic haematopoietic necrosis virus (EHNV) indicated cross-reactivity between these isolates, Bohle iridovirus (BIV) and frog virus 3 (FV3). Comparison of polypeptide and genomic profiles indicated that the Venezuelan viruses shared many polypeptides of equivalent molecular weight with type species FV3. There were, however, differences between the group of Venezuelan viruses and FV3 and BIV. The viruses belongs to the family Iridoviridae and the genus Ranavirus.

Bufo marinus · Bohle virus · Frog virus 3 · Iridovirus · Ranavirus

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