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Diseases of Aquatic Organisms

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DAO 45:25-31 (2001)  -  doi:10.3354/dao045025

Sea bass Dicentrarchus labrax nervous necrosis virus isolates with distinct pathogenicity to sea bass larvae

G. Breuil*, O. Mouchel, C. Fauvel, J. F. Pepin

Laboratoire de Recherche Aquacole, IFREMER, 34250 Palavas-les-Flots, France

ABSTRACT: Reproduction of nodavirus disease was performed by experimental infection of sea bass eggs during fertilization or at larval stage 4 with 2 genetically distinguishable nodavirus strains (Sb1 and Sb2) isolated from sea bass collected along the Atlantic and Mediterranean French coast. The pathogenicity of the virus strains was assigned after detection of the virus by ELISA and immunohistochemistry (IHC). The Atlantic (Sb1) strain was more pathogenic than the Mediterranean (Sb2) strain during the fertilization step whilst both strains were pathogenic following experimental exposure of 4 d old larvae. Virus lesions developed in the brain 4 to 6 d following experimental exposure. Experimental ELISA proved very sensitive for detecting the nodavirus in Sb1 or Sb2 experimentally infected larvae, as well as in naturally infected sea bass larvae collected in French hatcheries or in barramundi larvae reared in the Pacific area. The development of an ELISA specific for the 2 nodavirus strains isolated from the sea bass should be useful for the detection of the virus, in addition to other techniques recommended by the Office International des Epizooties (OIE).

KEY WORDS: Fish encephalopathy · Nodavirus · ELISA

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