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Diseases of Aquatic Organisms

    DAO prepress abstract   -  DOI: https://doi.org/10.3354/dao03452

    First comparison of French and Australian OsHV-1 µvars by bath exposure

    Colleen A. Burge*, Kimberly S. Reece*, Arun K. Dhar, Peter Kirkland, Benjamin Morga, Lionel Dégremont, Nicole Faury, Bryanda J. T. Wippel, Alanna MacIntyre, Carolyn S. Friedman

    *Corresponding author:

    ABSTRACT: Economically devastating mortality events of farmed and wild shellfish due to infectious disease have been reported globally. Currently, one of the most significant disease threats to Pacific oyster culture is the ostreid herpesvirus 1 (OsHV-1), in particular the emerging OsHV-1 microvariant genotypes. OsHV-1 microvariants (OsHV-1 µvars) are spreading globally, and concern is high among growers in areas unaffected by OsHV-1. No study to date has compared the relative virulence among variants. We provide the first challenge study comparing survival of naïve juvenile Pacific oysters exposed to OsHV-1 µvars from Australia (AUS µvar) and France (FRA µvar). Oysters challenged with OsHV-1 µvars had low survival (2.5% exposed to AUS µvar and 10% to FRA µvar), and high viral copy number as compared to control oysters (100% survival and no virus detected). As our study was conducted in a quarantine facility located 200 miles from the ocean, we also compared the virulence of OsHV-1 µvars using artificial seawater made from either facility tap water (3782 µmol kg–1 seawater total alkalinity) or purchased distilled water (DW; 2003 µmol kg–1). Although no differences in survival or viral copy number were detected in oysters exposed to seawater made using tap or DW, more OsHV-1 was detected in tanks containing the lower alkalinity seawater indicating that water quality may be important for virus transmission, as it may influence the duration of viral viability outside of the host.