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Diseases of Aquatic Organisms

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DAO 86:193-203 (2009)  -  DOI:

First detection of a viral agent causing disease in farmed sturgeon in Russia

Igor S. Shchelkunov1,*, Tatiana I. Shchelkunova1, Artyem I. Shchelkunov2, Yulia P. Kolbassova2, Lubov V. Didenko3, Albert P. Bykovsky3

1All Russia Research Institute for Veterinary Virology and Microbiology, Pokrov 601120, Russia
2All Russia Research Institute for Freshwater Fisheries, Rybnoe 141821, Russia
3 N. F. Gamaleya Research Institute for Epidemiology and Microbiology, 18 Gamaleya St., Moscow 123098, Russia

ABSTRACT: A virus was isolated from Siberian sturgeon Acipenser baeri and bester (beluga Huso huso × sterlet A. ruthenus hybrid) fingerlings in SSO-2, SSF-2 and WSSK-1 cell lines during an acute epizootic on a large fish farm producing fertilised sturgeon eggs and fry. Transmission electron microscopic examination of samples from both inoculated cell cultures and skin of affected fish revealed viral particles with a herpesvirus-like morphology. The etiological role of the Siberian sturgeon herpesvirus (SbSHV) was confirmed by fulfilment of Rivers’ postulates. Experimental immersion of healthy Siberian sturgeon fingerlings in a suspension of SbSHV resulted in 100% mortality with signs of focal epidermal hyperplasia, skin necrosis and multiple skin haemorrhages. While infecting different organs and tissues, the virus showed clear integumentary tropism. Carp fry and rainbow trout fingerlings were neither susceptible to the virus nor did they transmit it to healthy Siberian sturgeon.

KEY WORDS: Siberian sturgeon . Herpesvirus . Pathogenicity

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Cite this article as: Shchelkunov IS, Shchelkunova TI, Shchelkunov AI, Kolbassova YP, Didenko LV, Bykovsky AP (2009) First detection of a viral agent causing disease in farmed sturgeon in Russia. Dis Aquat Org 86:193-203.

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