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Koi herpesvirus epizootic in cultured carp and koi, Cyprinus carpio L., in Taiwan

Cheng, L., Chen, C.Y., Tsai, M.A., Wang, P.C., Hsu, J.P., Chern, R.S., Chen, S.C.
Journal of fish diseases 2011 v.34 no.7 pp. 547-554
Cyprinid herpesvirus 3, Cyprinus carpio, anorexia, epidemiological studies, farmed fish, fish culture, genes, gills, hemorrhage, histology, hyperplasia, inclusion bodies, koi, mortality, necrosis, nucleotide sequences, polymerase chain reaction, rapid methods, signs and symptoms (animals and humans), swimming, thymidine kinase, transmission electron microscopy, virion, Israel, Taiwan, United States
Koi herpesvirus (KHV) poses a significant threat to cultured koi and common carp, both Cyprinus carpio L. Since the first reported case in Israel in 1998, KHV has rapidly spread worldwide. This study investigates the spread of KHV to Taiwan by collecting 49 cases of suspected common carp and koi infections from 2003 to 2005 for analysis. Clinical signs included lethargy, anorexia, increased respiratory movements and uncoordinated swimming. Hyperaemia, haemorrhage on body surface and necrotic gill filaments were recorded. Gill epithelial hyperplasia, necrosis and eosinophilic intranuclear inclusion bodies were observed by histological examination, while virions were detected using transmission electron microscopy. By detecting the presence of the KHV thymidine kinase (TK) gene and the KHV 9/5 gene using polymerase chain reaction (PCR), 37 cases were identified as KHV-positive, and the cumulative mortality of infected fish was 70-100%. Positive cases showed identical sequences for the genes analysed, implying that they were of the same origin. For the KHV 9/5 gene sequence, these cases exhibited 100% identity with the Japanese strain (TUMST1, accession number AP008984) and 99% identity with the Israeli (KHV-I, DQ177346) and US (KHV-U, DQ657948) strains. Additionally, a loop-mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP) assay was performed and found to be more sensitive than PCR tests, suggesting its potential use as a rapid diagnostic method for KHV. This is the first epidemiological study of KHV infection in cultured common carp and koi in Taiwan.