Red seabream iridovirus associated with cultured Florida pompano Trachinotus carolinus mortality in Central America

Adrian Lopez-Porras, Juan A. Morales, Gilbert Alvarado, Samantha A. Koda, Alvin Camus, Kuttichantran Subramaniam, Thomas B. Waltzek, Esteban Soto Martinez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Mariculture of Florida pompano Trachinotus carolinus in Central America has increased over the last few decades and it is now a highly valued food fish. High feed costs and infectious diseases are significant impediments to the expansion of mariculture. Members of the genus Megalocytivirus (MCV), subfamily Alphairidovirinae, within the family Iridoviridae, are emerging pathogens that negatively impact Asian mariculture. A significant mortality event in Florida pompano fingerlings cultured in Central America occurred in October 2014. Affected fish presented with abdominal distension, darkening of the skin, and periocular hemorrhages. Microscopic lesions included cytomegalic 'inclusion body-bearing cells' characterized by basophilic granular cytoplasmic inclusions in multiple organs. Transmission electron microscopy revealed arrays of hexagonal virions (155−180 nm in diameter) with electron-dense cores within the cytoplasm of cytomegalic cells. Pathological findings were suggestive of an MCV infection, and the diagnosis was later confirmed by partial PCR amplification and sequencing of the viral gene encoding the myristylated membrane protein. The viral sequence revealed that the fingerlings were infected with an MCV genotype, red seabream iridovirus (RSIV), previously reported only from epizootics in Asian mariculture. This case underscores the threat RSIV poses to global mariculture, including the production of Florida pompano in Central America.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)109-115
Number of pages7
JournalDiseases of Aquatic Organisms
Issue number2
StatePublished - Sep 10 2018


  • Florida pompano
  • Inclusion body-bearing cells
  • Megalocytivirus
  • Red seabream iridovirus
  • RSIV
  • Trachinotus carolinus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Aquatic Science


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