An unknown virus was isolated from massive mortality of cultured threadfin ( Eleutheronema tetradactylus ) fingerlings. The virus replicated in BF-2 fish cell line and produced a plaque-like cytopathic effect. Electron micrographs revealed non-enveloped, icosahedral particles approximately 70–80 nm in diameter composed of a double capsid layer. Viroplasms and subviral particles approximately 30 nm in diameter and complete particles of 70 nm in diameter were also observed in the infected BF-2 tissue culture cells. The virus was resistant upon pH 3 to 11 and ether treatment. It is also stable to heat treatment (3 h at 56 °C). Replication was not inhibited by 5-iododeoxyuridine (5-IUdR). Acridine orange stain revealed typical reovirus-like cytoplasmic inclusion bodies. Electrophoresis of purified virus revealed 11 segments of double-stranded RNA and five major structural polypeptides of approximately 136, 132, 71, 41 and 33 kDa. Based on these findings, the virus isolated was identified to belong to the genus Aquareovirus and was designated as threadfin reovirus. This virus differed from a majority of other aquareovirus by its increase in virus infectivity upon exposure to various treatments such as high and low pH, heat (56 °C), ether and 5-IUdR. The RNA and virion protein banding pattern of the threadfin reovirus was shown to differ from another Asian isolate, the grass carp hemorrhage reovirus (GCV). Artificial injection of the threadfin reovirus into threadfin fingerlings resulted in complete mortality, whereas sea bass ( Lates calcarifer ) fingerlings infected via bath route showed severe mortality within a week after exposure. These results indicate that the threadfin virus is another pathogenic Asian aquareovirus isolate that could cross-infect into another marine fish, the sea bass.
Aquaculture – Elsevier
Published: Nov 15, 2002
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