The susceptibility of yellow perch Perca flavescens, rainbow trout Oncorhynchus mykiss, Chinook salmon O. tshawytscha, koi Cyprinus carpio koi, and Pacific herring Clupea pallasii to 4 strains of viral hemorrhagic septicemia virus (VHSV) was assessed. Fish were challenged via intraperitoneal injection with high (1 × 106 plaque-forming units, PFU) and low (1 × 103 PFU) doses of a European strain (genotype Ia), and North American strains from the West coast (genotype IVa), Great Lakes (genotype IVb), and the East coast (genotype IVc). Pacific herring were exposed to the same VHSV strains, but at a single dose of 5 × 103-1 by immersion in static seawater. Overall, yellow perch were the most susceptible, with cumulative percent mortality (CPM) ranging from 84 to 100%, and 30 to 93% in fish injected with high or low doses of virus, respectively. Rainbow trout and Chinook salmon experienced higher mortalities (47 to 98% CPM) after exposure to strain Ia than to the other virus genotypes. Pacific herring were most susceptible to strain IVa with an average CPM of 80% and moderately susceptible (42 to 52% CPM) to the other genotypes. Koi had very low susceptibility (≤5.0% CPM) to all 4 VHSV strains. Fish tested at 7 d post challenge were positive for all virus strains, with yellow perch having the highest prevalence and concentrations of virus, and koi the lowest. While genotype Ia had higher virulence in salmonid species, there was little difference in virulence or host-specificity between isolates from subtypes IVa, IVb, and IVc.
Additional publication details
Virulence of viral hemorrhagic septicemia virus (VHSV) genotypes Ia, IVa, IVb, and IVc in five fish species.