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Diseases of Aquatic Organisms

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DAO 65:23-27 (2005)  -  doi:10.3354/dao065023

Herpes-like virus infection causing mortality of cultured abalone Haliotis diversicolor supertexta in Taiwan

Pen Heng Chang1,*, Shu Ting Kuo2, San Huei Lai1, Hong Shii Yang3, Yun Yuan Ting3, Ching Lung Hsu4, Hon Cheng Chen5

1Department of Veterinary Medicine, College of Bio-Resources and Agriculture, National Taiwan University, Taipei 10617, Taiwan, ROC
2National Institute for Animal Health, Tansui 25158, Taiwan, ROC
3Mariculture Research Center, Fisheries Research Institute, Tainan 72453, Taiwan, ROC
4Department of Aquaculture and Coastal Fisheries, Council of Agriculture, Taipei 10093, Taiwan, ROC
5Department of Zoology, College of Science, National Taiwan University, Taipei 10617, Taiwan, ROC

ABSTRACT: A herpes-like virus is demonstrated for the first time to be associated with high mortality rates in maricultured abalone Haliotis diversicolor supertexta in Taiwan. Histopathology of moribund abalone indicated that the nerve system was the primary target tissue. The lesions were characterised by tissue necrosis accompanied with infiltration of haemocytes. Electron microscopic examination demonstrated viral particles within the degenerated cerebral ganglion cells. The viruses were hexagonal, approximately 100 nm in diameter and had a single coat. Some viral particles contained a dense nucleoid, while others were empty. The ultrastructure and morphogenesis of the virus particles were consistent with those of the herpesvirus described from the oyster Crassostrea virginica. Experimental infection using supernatant collected from minced visceral organs and muscle of moribund abalone induced 100% mortality through both intramuscular injection and bath treatments.

KEY WORDS: Herpes-like virus · Haliotis diversicolor supertexta · Mortality · Pathogenicity

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