In order to analyse the occurrence of viral haemorrhagic septicaemia virus (VHSV) in the marine environment surrounding Denmark, fish tissue samples were collected on four cruises with the research vessel H/S Dana in 1996 and 1997. The sampling comprised 923 samples totalling 7344 fish representing 29 different species. VHSV was isolated from 24 fish samples from the Baltic Sea, four samples from Skagerrak and three samples from the North Sea. The virus-positive host species included herring Clupea harengus (11 isolates), sprat Sprattus sprattus (eight isolates), cod Gadus morhua (six isolates), rockling Rhinonemus cimbrius (one isolate), Norway pout Trisopterus esmarkii (one isolate), blue whiting Micromesistius poutassou (one isolate), whiting Merlangius merlangus (two isolates) and lesser argentine Argentina sphyraena (one isolate). VHSV has previously been reported from cod and herring, but not from the other five species. A virus belonging to serogroup II of the aquatic birnaviruses was isolated from three samples of flounder Platichthys flesus and three samples of dab Limanda limanda and a virus preliminary identified as iridovirus (lymphocystis virus) was isolated from seven samples of long rough dab Hippoglossoides platessoides. (C) 1999 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.
- viral haemorrhagic septicaemia virus
- birnavirus serogroup II
- marine fish