Development of a polymerase chain reaction assay to detect cyprinid herpesvirus 2 in goldfish

Thomas B. Waltzek, Tomofumi Kurobe, Andrew E. Goodwin, Ronald Hedrick

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

56 Scopus citations


Cyprinid herpesvirus 2 (CyHV2) has been associated with epidemic mortality among cultured populations of goldfish Carassius auratus. As the principal target tissues are hematopoietic cells in the kidney and spleen, the disease is designated herpesviral hematopoietic necrosis (HVHN). Originally described from Japan, the virus is present in at least five other countries and probably has a global distribution in goldfish. Preventing the further spread of the virus via control programs that exploit sensitive viral detection methods is critical. We developed a conventional polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test based on unique sequences found in the putative helicase gene of CyHV2 and completed initial steps toward the validation of this test. The helicase CyHV2 PCR has an analytic sensitivity of at least 78 copies of the target sequence per reaction in serially diluted plasmid and 84 copies/μg of DNA from the kidney and spleen of goldfish experimentally infected with CyHV2. The analytic specificity of the helicase CyHV2 PCR was demonstrated by the lack of amplification of genomic DNA from cyprinid herpesvirus 1, cyprinid herpesvirus 3, and ictalurid herpesvirus 1 (IcHV1). The helicase CyHV2 PCR effectively detected DNA from CyHV2 from goldfish over a broad geographic range, including Japan, California, Ohio, and Pennsylvania. The performance of the helicase CyHV2 PCR was compared with that of the previously described real-time TaqMan PCR for CyHV2 on a set of 37 samples of DNA from goldfish after experimental or natural exposure to CyHV2. The two tests had very strong agreement (kappa coefficient = 0.907) in classifying fish as positive or negative for CyHV2. The helicase CyHV2 PCR therefore complements the real-time PCR test as a conventional diagnostic method for preventing the further spread of CyHV2.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)60-67
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Aquatic Animal Health
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 1 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aquatic Science


Dive into the research topics of 'Development of a polymerase chain reaction assay to detect cyprinid herpesvirus 2 in goldfish'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this