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Diseases of Aquatic Organisms

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DAO 66:145-151 (2005)  -  doi:10.3354/dao066145

Prevalence of viral haemorrhagic septicaemia virus in Danish marine fishes and its occurrence in new host species

Helle Frank Skall1,*, Niels Jørgen Olesen1, Stig Mellergaard2,3

1Danish Institute for Food and Veterinary Research, Department of Poultry, Fish and Fur Animals, Hangøvej 2, 8200 Århus N, Denmark
2Danish Institute for Fisheries Research, Department for Marine Ecology and Aquaculture, Fish Disease Laboratory, Stigbøjlen 4, 1870 Frederiksberg C, Denmark
3Present address: Danish Veterinary and Food Administration, Mørkhøj Bygade 19, 2860 Søborg, Denmark

ABSTRACT: In order to analyse the occurrence of viral haemorrhagic septicaemia virus (VHSV) in the marine waters around Denmark, staff from the Danish Institute for Food and Veterinary Research participated in 5 research cruises during 1998 to 2002 as a follow-up to 4 research cruises performed in 1996 to 1997. In total, 16655 fish were examined virologically as 3569 samples. Forty fish species and 3 invertebrate species were represented. VHSV was isolated from 133 samples representing 8 species: herring Clupea harengus, sprat Sprattus sprattus, dab Limanda limanda, flounder Platichthys flesus, plaice Pleuronectes platessa, cod Gadus morhua, sand eel Ammodytes sp. and sand goby Pomatochistus minutus. Calculations showed that VHSV was more prevalent in the Baltic Sea in an area between Zealand and the island of Bornholm and the waters surrounding Bornholm than in the Kattegat, Skagerrak and along the North Sea coast of Denmark. This is the first report on the isolation of VHSV from dab, flounder and plaice and the first publication on VHSV from sand eel from Europe and sand goby.

KEY WORDS: Viral haemorrhagic septicaemia virus · VHSV · Wild fish · Herring · Sprat · Cod · Flatfish · Sand eel · Sand goby

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