Susceptibility of zebrafish (Danio rerio) to a model pathogen, spring viremia of carp virus

Comparative Medicine
By: , and 



To improve our understanding of the genetic basis of fish disease, we developed a pathogen model, using zebrafish (Danio rerio) and spring virema of carp virus (SVCV). Replicate groups of 10 fish were acclimated to 20 or 24°C, then were exposed to SVCV concentrations of 103 to 105 plaque-forming units per milliliter (PFU/ml) of water and observed daily. In a second trial, fish were acclimated to 15°C, and replicate groups of 10 fish were exposed to SVCV at a concentration of 105 PFU/ml; however, the temperature was raised 1°C/wk. Moribund fish were collected for histologic examination, and dead fish were assayed for virus by use of cell culture and reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) analysis. Mortality exceeded 50% in fish exposed to 105 PFU of SVCV/ml at the lower temperatures. Clinical signs of disease became evident seven days after viral exposure and were observed most consistently in fish of the 105 PFU/ml groups. Affected zebrafish were anorectic and listless, with epidermal petechial hemorrhages followed by death. Use of plaque assays and RT-PCR analysis confirmed presence of SVCV at titers ≥ 104 PFU/g of tissue. Histologic lesions included multifocal brachial necrosis and melanomacrophage proliferation in gills, liver, and kidneys. These results indicate that zebrafish are susceptible to infection by SVCV under conditions that mimic a natural route of exposure.

Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Susceptibility of zebrafish (Danio rerio) to a model pathogen, spring viremia of carp virus
Series title Comparative Medicine
Volume 53
Issue 5
Year Published 2003
Language English
Publisher American Association for Laboratory Animal Science
Contributing office(s) Western Fisheries Research Center
Description 8 p.
First page 514
Last page 521
Online Only (Y/N) N
Additional Online Files (Y/N) N
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