The host range of ranaviruses was investigated by challenging pike-perch (Sander lucioperca) with the following ranavirus isolates: epizootic haematopoietic necrosis virus (EHNV), European sheatfish virus (ESV), European catfish virus (ECV), pike-perch iridovirus (PPIV), short-finned eel virus (SERV) and frog virus 3 (FV3). Pike-perch fry were bath-challenged at 12°C and 22°C at 5weeks post hatching, and the challenge was repeated with EHNV and PPIV in older fish (15weeks post hatching) at higher densities. A third batch of fish was subjected to intraperitoneal (i.p.) and cohabitation challenge with EHNV, ESV, ECV and PPIV at 16°C. Statistically significant mortality was observed in EHNV-challenged fish at both temperatures in the five week old fish. No mortalities were seen in older fish challenged with EHNV and PPIV. High mortalities were registered in i.p.-challenged fish, but not in cohabitated fish. Virus re-isolation was possible from the youngest bath-challenged fish in all challenge trials and the i.p.-challenged fish, but not from older fish or cohabitated fish. Susceptibility of pike-perch to ranaviruses appears to be dependent on age of fish and challenge route. The study shows that pike-perch are susceptible to infection with ranavirus under certain conditions, and it is suggested that this be considered when reviewing the legislation on notifiable diseases.
- Challenge trial
- Fish virus