Megalocytiviruses

Authored by: Chun-Shun Wang , Chiu-Ming Wen

Molecular Detection of Animal Viral Pathogens

Print publication date:  August  2016
Online publication date:  May  2016

Print ISBN: 9781498700368
eBook ISBN: 9781498700375
Adobe ISBN:

10.1201/b19719-ch92

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Abstract

As a recently identified genus in the family Iridoviridae, Megalocytivirus contains several double-stranded DNA (dsDNA) viruses that are pathogenic to a wide variety of freshwater and marine fishes, with a significant negative impact on ornamental and food fish aquaculture worldwide [1-5]. The first outbreak of megalocytivirus-induced disease was recorded in cultured red sea bream (Pagrus major) in Japan in 1990, and the causative agent was designated as red sea bream iridovirus (RSIV) [6]. Thus far, RSIV disease has been documented in 31 cultured seawater fish in Japan [7,8]. In China, a molecular epidemiology study indicated that over 50 species of cultured and wild seawa-ter fish were infected by megalocytiviruses [9]. More than 10 species of cultured marine fish with iridovirus infection were reported in Taiwan [10-12,68]. In Korea, megalocytiviruses were reported in 10 freshwater ornamental fish species and 7 cultured fish species [13-15]. In addition, the farmed Murray cod (Maccullochella peelii peelii) and dwarf gourami (Colisa lalia) were observed to be infected in Australia [16]. Since 2007, a systemic megalocytivirus infection in three-spine stickleback (Gasterosteus aculea-tus) was described in Canada [17]. Given the wide host range and geographic distribution of megalocytivirus, phy-logenetic analysis using the major capsid protein (MCP) and ATPase gene has been performed for multiple isolates. This chapter focuses on the classification, morphology, clinical features, pathogenesis, and diagnosis of megalocy-tivirus. Developments in various vaccines and RNA interference (RNAi) techniques for preventing megalocytivirus infection in fish are also discussed.

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