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A mortality event in wrasse species (Labridae) associated with the presence of viral haemorrhagic septicaemia virus

Munro, E S, McIntosh, R E, Weir, S J, Noguera, P A, Sandilands, J M, Matejusova, I, Mayes, A S, Smith, R
Journal of fish diseases 2015 v.38 no.4 pp. 335-341
Centrolabrus, Ctenolabrus rupestris, Labrus, Salmo salar, Symphodus melops, Viral hemorrhagic septicemia virus, aquaculture, biological control, biological speciation, enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, fish health, freshwater, genes, genotype, glycoproteins, hatcheries, host range, industry, infectious diseases, mortality, nucleic acids, nucleoproteins, parasites, reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction, septicemia, viruses, wild fish, Scotland
Viral haemorrhagic septicaemia (VHS) is an infectious disease of farmed and wild fish and has an extensive host range in both freshwater and marine environments. In December 2012, a wrasse population consisting of ballan, Labrus bergylta (Ascanius), corkwing, Symphodus melops (L.), cuckoo, Labrus mixtus L., goldsinny, Ctenolabrus rupestris (L.), and rock cook, Centrolabrus exoletus (L.), held at a marine hatchery in the Shetland Isles, Scotland, experienced a mortality event. Approximately 10 000 wrasse were being held at the facility on behalf of an Atlantic salmon, Salmo salar L., aquaculture company prior to being deployed for the biological control of parasites on marine pen Atlantic salmon, aquaculture sites. Fish Health Inspectors from Marine Scotland Science initiated a diagnostic investigation, and subsequent diagnostic testing confirmed the site to be VHSV positive by qRT‐PCR and virus isolation followed by ELISA. A VHSV genotype‐specific qRT‐PCR assay revealed that the isolates belonged to genotype III, the European marine strain of the virus. The virus genotype was further confirmed by nucleic acid sequencing of the partial nucleoprotein (N) and glycoprotein (G) genes followed by BLAST nucleotide searches. This study reports for the first time the detection of VHSV within multiple wrasse species and highlights the need for a comprehensive risk‐based approach to the use of wrasse and other finfish species as biological controls within the aquaculture industry.