Infectious hematopoietic necrosis virus (IHNV) is a novirhabdoviral pathogen that originated in western North America among anadromous Pacific salmonids. Severe disease epidemics in the late 1970s resulting from IHNV's invasion into farmed Rainbow Trout Oncorhynchus mykiss in North America, Asia, and Europe emphasized IHNV's ability to adapt to new hosts under varying rearing conditions. Yellow Perch Perca flavescens and Koi Carp Cyprinus carpio (hereafter, “Koi”) are aquaculture-reared fish that are highly valued in sport fisheries and the ornamental fish trade, respectively, but it is unknown whether these fish species are vulnerable to IHNV infection. In this study, we exposed Yellow Perch, Koi, and steelhead (anadromous Rainbow Trout) to IHNV by intraperitoneal injection (106 PFU/fish) and by immersion (5.7×105 PFU/mL) for 7 h, and monitored fish for 28 d. The extended immersion exposure and high virus concentrations used in the challenges were to determine if the tested fish had any level of susceptibility. After experimental exposure, Yellow Perch and Koi experienced low mortality (<6%) compared with steelhead (>35%). Virus was found in dead fish of all species tested and in surviving Yellow Perch by plaque assay and quantitative reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (qPCR), with a higher prevalence in Yellow Perch than Koi. Infectious virus was also detected in Yellow Perch out to 5 d after bath challenge. These findings indicate that Yellow Perch and Koi are highly resistant to IHNV disease under the conditions tested, but Yellow Perch are susceptible to infection and may serve as possible virus carriers.
Additional publication details
Susceptibility of Koi and Yellow Perch to infectious hematopoietic necrosis virus by experimental exposure