Betanodaviruses have been isolated and detected in both farmed and wild fish species worldwide. They are classified in five clusters, and all are connected to mortalities in farmed fish. The clusters do not represent specific geographical areas or host species, but one cluster, barfin flounder nervous necrosis virus (BFNNV), is mainly associated with cold water fish species. This study presents the first species-specific clade within the BFNNV cluster. This clade consists of six isolates from wild and farmed Atlantic cod in Norway and is genetically distinct from other betanodaviruses in the North Atlantic. Screening of farmed and wild cod in Norway shows that betanodaviruses are present in wild fish on the west coast of Norway, including migratory cod, but so far we have not detected any betanodavirus-positive wild cod in northern Norway. The presence of significant amounts of betanodaviruses in wild cod represents a serious challenge for the management of viral nervous necrosis in farmed cod in Norway. Betanodavirus-positive farmed cod were present both in western and northern Norway. Mortalities in three cod farms were suspected to be caused by betanodaviruses; however, in two of these, other pathogens may have been responsible for or strongly contributed to the mortalities.
Archives of Virology – Springer Journals
Published: Mar 1, 2008
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