Infectious haematopoietic necrosis (IHN) virus was isolated from freshwater leeches Piscicola salmositica and copepods Salmincola sp. removed from the gills of spawning sockeye salmon, Oncorhynchus nerka. This is the first report of the isolation of IHN virus from an animal other than salmonid fishes. High levels of IHN virus were also found in leeches taken from the bottom gravel of the spawning area. The prevalence of IHN virus in samples of individual leeches was as high as 100% and the virus was isolated from 95% of pooled samples of copepod and 1.5 × 108 pfu/g in the leech. The level of virus in leeches removed from fish gills was sometimes higher than the level of virus in the gill tissue itself. Virus persisted for at least 16 d in leeches held in the laboratory without feeding. Transmission of IHN virus by leeches probably increases the infection rate of spawning sockeye salmon.
|Publication Subtype||Journal Article|
|Title||Isolation of infectious hematopoietic necrosis virus from a leech (Piscicola salmositica) and a copepod (Salmincola sp.), ectoparasites of sockeye salmon Oncorhynchus nerka|
|Series title||Diseases of Aquatic Organisms|
|Contributing office(s)||Alaska Science Center, Western Fisheries Research Center|
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