Characterization of ranaviruses isolated from lumpfish Cyclopterus lumpus L. in the North Atlantic area: proposal for a new ranavirus species (European North Atlantic Ranavirus)

Hannah E B Stagg*, Sigríður Guðmundsdóttir, Niccolò Vendramin, Neil M Ruane, Heiða Sigurðardóttir, Debes H Christiansen, Argelia Cuenca, Petra E Petersen, Eann S Munro, Vsevolod L Popov, Kuttichantran Subramaniam, Kamonchai Imnoi, Thomas B Waltzek, Niels Jørgen Olesen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


The commercial production of lumpfish Cyclopterus lumpus L. is expanding with the increased demand for their use as cleaner fish, to control sea-lice numbers, at marine Atlantic salmon Salmo salar L. aquaculture sites throughout Northern Europe. A new ranavirus has been isolated from lumpfish at multiple locations in the North Atlantic area. First isolated in 2014 in the Faroe Islands, the virus has subsequently been found in lumpfish from Iceland in 2015 and from Scotland and Ireland in 2016. The Icelandic lumpfish ranavirus has been characterized by immunofluorescent antibody test, optimal growth conditions and transmission electron microscopy. Partial sequences of the major capsid protein gene from 12 isolates showed 99.79-100% nt identity between the lumpfish ranaviruses. Complete genome sequencing from three of the isolates and phylogenetic analysis based on the concatenated 26 iridovirus core genes suggest these lumpfish ranavirus isolates form a distinct clade with ranaviruses from cod Gadus morhua L. and turbot Scophthalmus maximus L. isolated in Denmark in 1979 and 1999, respectively. These data suggest that these viruses should be grouped together as a new ranavirus species, European North Atlantic Ranavirus, which encompasses ranaviruses isolated from marine fishes in European North Atlantic waters.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of General Virology
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)198-207
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • Ranavirus
  • Lumpfish
  • North Atlantic
  • Cleaner fish
  • European North Atlantic Ranavirus

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