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Nodavirus provokes subclinical encephalitis and retinochoroiditis in adult farmed Atlantic cod, Gadus morhua L

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Viral nervous necrosis (VNN) caused by betanodavirus affects many species of farmed marine fish, in particular juveniles. Apparently healthy, normally feeding, adult farmed Atlantic cod, Gadus morhua, were sampled in a farm 14 months after an outbreak of VNN with clinical signs. Following necropsy, brain and eye tissues were examined by histology, immunohistochemistry and polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Nodavirus-provoked cell death and inflammation was detected in eye and brain, particularly in the retina and cerebellum and differed from that previously described in Atlantic cod during clinical stages of VNN. Virus was detected both by PCR and immunohistochemistry. This is, to the best of our knowledge, the first description of pathological changes associated with chronic subclinical nodavirus infection in Atlantic cod. Our observations suggest that severe infection and pathological changes may go undetected if investigations are restricted to clinical examination and macroscopic evaluation at necropsy.
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Keywords: Atlantic cod; encephalitis; nodavirus; retinochoroiditis; viral nervous necrosis

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1:  Section for Fish Health, National Veterinary Institute, Oslo, Norway 2:  Institute of Basic Sciences and Aquatic Medicine, Norwegian School of Veterinary Science, Oslo, Norway 3:  Fjord Fors√łksstasjon (Fjord Research Station), Helgeland, Norway

Publication date: 2009-05-01

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