In 2009, juvenile pallid sturgeon Scaphirhynchus albus, reared at the Blind Pony State Fish Hatchery (Missouri, USA) to replenish dwindling wild stocks, experienced mass mortality. Histological examination revealed extensive necrosis of the haematopoietic tissues, and a virus was isolated from affected organs in cell culture and then observed by electron microscopy. Experimental infection studies revealed that the virus is highly pathogenic to juvenile pallid sturgeon, one of several species of sturgeon currently listed as Endangered. The DNA sequence of the full length major capsid protein gene of the virus was identical to that of the species Frog virus 3 (FV3), the type species for the genus Ranavirus, originally isolated from northern leopard frog Lithobates pipiens. Although FV3 infections and epizootics in amphibians and reptiles are well documented, there is only 1 prior report of a natural infection of FV3 in fish. Our results illustrate the broad potential host range for FV3, with the known potential to cause significant mortality in poikilothermic vertebrates across 3 taxonomic classes including bony fishes, anuran and caudate amphibians, and squamate and testudine reptiles.
- Frog virus 3
- Pallid sturgeon
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
- Aquatic Science