Outbreak and treatment of carp edema virus in Koi (cyprinus carpio) from Northern California

Brittany N. Stevens, Adam Michel, Molly L. Liepnieks, Kirsten Kenelty, Sara M. Gardhouse, Joseph M. Groff, Thomas B. Waltzek, Esteban Soto Martinez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Carp edema virus (CEV) is the causative agent of carp edema virus disease (CEVD), also referred to as koi sleepy disease, which is an emerging disease of global concern that may cause high rates of morbidity and mortality in common carp and ornamental koi (Cyprinus carpio). This article reports the third confirmed outbreak of CEVD in California. In June 2015, three koi presented with clinical signs of cutaneous lesions, severe lethargy, and signs of hypoxia. All fish tested positive for CEV by polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Euthanasia and complete necropsy were performed on two fish. The most significant necropsy findings included necrotizing branchitis with marked interstitial edema, multifocal cutaneous ulcerations, and severe cutaneous edema. Treatment of the pond with 0.3-0.5% salt was recommended to the owner. Approximately 7 wk later, a recheck visit was made to the pond. No mortalities had been noted since the initiation of the salt treatment. Physical examination revealed a vast improvement but not complete elimination of the clinical signs of hypoxia and intermittent lethargy in the affected fish. Gill biopsy samples from the two most affected fish were tested and remained PCR positive for CEV. Subsequent recheck visits over 11 mo postdiagnosis and initiation of treatment showed continued improvement in most fish. Gill samples from all fish in the pond (n = 9) were repeatedly tested by quantitative PCR for CEV, and all samples were negative. This case series further confirms the global spread of CEV and the need for practitioners to be vigilant for outbreaks of this disease. If CEVD is suspected, treatment with 0.3-0.5% salt can be recommended to potentially mitigate the effects of this disease. However, fish may remain potential carriers of this pathogen, and strict biosecurity measures should continue to be enforced for any pond that has had a confirmed CEV outbreak.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)755-764
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Zoo and Wildlife Medicine
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1 2018


  • Carp edema virus
  • Cyprinus carpio
  • Koi
  • Koi sleepy disease
  • Salt

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • veterinary(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'Outbreak and treatment of carp edema virus in Koi (cyprinus carpio) from Northern California'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this