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Diseases of Aquatic Organisms

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DAO 75:1-11 (2007)  -  doi:10.3354/dao075001

Occurrence and genetic typing of infectious hematopoietic necrosis virus in Kamchatka, Russia

Svetlana L. Rudakova1,*, Gael Kurath2, Elena V. Bochkova1

1Kamchatka Research Institute of Fisheries and Oceanography (KamchatNIRO), Naberezhnaya 18, Petropavlovsk-Kamchatskii 683000, Russia
2USGS Western Fisheries Research Center, 6505 NE 65th Street, Seattle, Washington 98115, USA

ABSTRACT: Infectious hematopoietic necrosis virus (IHNV) is a well known rhabdoviral pathogen of salmonid fish in North America that has become established in Asia and Europe. On the Pacific coast of Russia, IHNV was first detected in hatchery sockeye from the Kamchatka Peninsula in 2001. Results of virological examinations of over 10000 wild and cultured salmonid fish from Kamchatka during 1996 to 2005 revealed IHNV in several sockeye salmon Oncorhynchus nerka populations. The virus was isolated from spawning adults and from juveniles undergoing epidemics in both hatchery and wild sockeye populations from the Bolshaya watershed. No virus was detected in 2 other watersheds, or in species other than sockeye salmon. Genetic typing of 8 virus isolates by sequence analysis of partial glycoprotein and nucleocapsid genes revealed that they were genetically homogeneous and fell within the U genogroup of IHNV. In phylogenetic analyses, the Russian IHNV sequences were indistinguishable from the sequences of North American U genogroup isolates that occur throughout Alaska, British Columbia, Washington, and Oregon. The high similarity, and in some cases identity, between Russian and North American IHNV isolates suggests virus transmission or exposure to a common viral reservoir in the North Pacific Ocean.

KEY WORDS: Fish virus · IHNV · Sockeye salmon · Russia · Virus typing · Rhabdovirus · Infectious hematopoietic necrosis virus

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