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Diseases of Aquatic Organisms

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DAO 96:45-54 (2011)  -  DOI:

Viral encephalopathy and retinopathy outbreak in freshwater fish farmed in Italy

G. Bovo1, A. Gustinelli2, F. Quaglio3, F. Gobbo1, V. Panzarin1, A. Fusaro1, F. Mutinelli1, M. Caffara2, M. L. Fioravanti2,*

1Istituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale delle Venezie, OIE Reference Laboratory for Viral Encephalopathy and Retinopathy, 35020 Legnaro (PD), Italy
2Department of Veterinary Medical Sciences, Alma Mater Studiorum Università di Bologna, 40064 Ozzano Emilia (BO), Italy
3Department of Public Health, Comparative Pathology and Veterinary Hygiene, University of Padua, 35020 Legnaro (PD), Italy

ABSTRACT: Viral encephalopathy and retinopathy (VER), otherwise known as viral nervous necrosis (VNN), is a neuropathological condition affecting >40 species of fish. Although VER affects mainly marine fish, the disease has also been detected in certain species reared in freshwater environments. There are relatively few reports concerning the disease in freshwater species, and there is not much information on clinical signs. Nevertheless, the most common clinical findings reported from affected freshwater species are consistent with the typical signs observed in marine species. In this paper we describe the main clinical signs and the laboratory results associated with the detection of a beta­nodavirus in hybrid striped bass × white bass (Morone saxatilis × Morone chrysops) and largemouth bass Micropterus salmoides, reared in a freshwater environment. We also detected the virus by real-time PCR and isolated it in cell culture from a batch of pike-perch Sander lucioperca farmed in the same system.

KEY WORDS: VER · Hybrid striped bass · Morone saxatilis × Morone chrysops · Largemouth bass · Micropterus salmoides · Freshwater environment · Molecular characterization

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Cite this article as: Bovo G, Gustinelli A, Quaglio F, Gobbo F and others (2011) Viral encephalopathy and retinopathy outbreak in freshwater fish farmed in Italy. Dis Aquat Org 96:45-54.

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