Appl Environ Microbiol. 2005 November; 71(11): 7285–7291.
Detection of Carp Interstitial Nephritis and Gill Necrosis Virus in Fish Droppings
Arnon Dishon,1 Ayana Perelberg,1,3 Janette Bishara-Shieban,2 Maya Ilouze,1 Maya Davidovich,1 Shlomit Werker,4 and Moshe Kotler1*
Carp interstitial nephritis and gill necrosis virus (CNGV) is an unclassified large DNA virus that morphologically resembles members of the Herpesviridae but contains a large (ca. ~280-kbp) linear double-stranded DNA. This virus has also been named koi herpesvirus, koi herpes-like virus, and cyprinid herpesvirus 3. CNGV is the cause of a lethal disease that afflicts common carp and koi. By using immunohistochemistry, molecular analysis, and electron microscopy we previously demonstrated that this virus is present mainly in the intestine and kidney of infected fish. Based on these observations, we postulated that viruses and/or viral components may appear in droppings of infected carp. Here we report that (i) by using PCR we demonstrated that fish droppings contain viral DNA, (ii) fish droppings contain viral antigens which are useful for CNGV diagnosis, and (iii) fish droppings contain active virus which can infect cultured common carp brain cells and induce the disease in naïve fish following inoculation. Thus, our findings show that CNGV can be identified by using droppings without taking biopsies or killing fish and that infectious CNGV is present in the stools of sick fish. The possibility that fish droppings preserve viable CNGV during the nonpermissive seasons is discussed.