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Special Issue "Viruses Infecting Fish, Amphibians, and Reptiles"

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A special issue of Viruses (ISSN 1999-4915). This special issue belongs to the section "Animal Viruses".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (29 February 2012)

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Gregory Chinchar

Department of Microbiology, University of Mississippi Medical Center, 2500 North State Street, Jackson, MS 39216, USA
Fax: +1 601 984 1708
Interests: iridoviruses; ranaviruses; viruses infecting fish and amphibians; channel catfish virus; antiviral immunity in cold-blooded vertebrates; catfish cytotoxic cells; viral evasion of immune responses; ranavirus replication

Published Papers (10 papers)

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Editorial

Jump to: Research, Review

Open AccessEditorial Special Issue: Viruses Infecting Fish, Amphibians, and Reptiles
Viruses 2011, 3(9), 1609; doi:10.3390/v3091609
Received: 25 August 2011 / Accepted: 1 September 2011 / Published: 2 September 2011
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (99 KB)
Abstract
Although viruses infecting and affecting humans are the focus of considerable research effort, viruses that target other animal species, including cold-blooded vertebrates, are receiving increased attention. In part this reflects the interests of comparative virologists, but increasingly it is based on the [...] Read more.
Although viruses infecting and affecting humans are the focus of considerable research effort, viruses that target other animal species, including cold-blooded vertebrates, are receiving increased attention. In part this reflects the interests of comparative virologists, but increasingly it is based on the impact that many viruses have on ecologically and commercially important animals. Frogs and other amphibians are sentinels of environmental health and their disappearance following viral or fungal (chytrid) infection is a cause for alarm. Likewise, because aquaculture and mariculture are providing an increasingly large percentage of the “seafood” consumed by humans, viral agents that adversely impact the harvest of cultured fish and amphibians are of equal concern. [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Viruses Infecting Fish, Amphibians, and Reptiles)

Research

Jump to: Editorial, Review

Open AccessArticle Spread of the Emerging Viral Hemorrhagic Septicemia Virus Strain, Genotype IVb, in Michigan, USA
Viruses 2012, 4(5), 734-760; doi:10.3390/v4050734
Received: 21 March 2012 / Revised: 11 April 2012 / Accepted: 13 April 2012 / Published: 3 May 2012
Cited by 24 | PDF Full-text (1552 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
In 2003, viral hemorrhagic septicemia virus (VHSV) emerged in the Laurentian Great Lakes causing serious losses in a number of ecologically and recreationally important fish species. Within six years, despite concerted managerial preventive measures, the virus spread into the five Great Lakes [...] Read more.
In 2003, viral hemorrhagic septicemia virus (VHSV) emerged in the Laurentian Great Lakes causing serious losses in a number of ecologically and recreationally important fish species. Within six years, despite concerted managerial preventive measures, the virus spread into the five Great Lakes and to a number of inland waterbodies. In response to this emerging threat, cooperative efforts between the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (MI DNR), the Michigan State University Aquatic Animal Health Laboratory (MSU-AAHL), and the United States Department of Agriculture-Animal and Plant Health Inspection Services (USDA-APHIS) were focused on performing a series of general and VHSV-targeted surveillances to determine the extent of virus trafficking in the State of Michigan. Herein we describe six years (2005–2010) of testing, covering hundreds of sites throughout Michigan’s Upper and Lower Peninsulas. A total of 96,228 fish representing 73 species were checked for lesions suggestive of VHSV and their internal organs tested for the presence of VHSV using susceptible cell lines. Of the 1,823 cases tested, 30 cases from 19 fish species tested positive for VHSV by tissue culture and were confirmed by reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). Gene sequence analyses of all VHSV isolates retrieved in Michigan demonstrated that they belong to the emerging sublineage “b” of the North American VHSV genotype IV. These findings underscore the complexity of VHSV ecology in the Great Lakes basin and the critical need for rigorous legislation and regulatory guidelines in order to reduce the virus spread within and outside of the Laurentian Great Lakes watershed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Viruses Infecting Fish, Amphibians, and Reptiles)

Review

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Open AccessReview Megalocytiviruses
Viruses 2012, 4(4), 521-538; doi:10.3390/v4040521
Received: 9 February 2012 / Revised: 14 March 2012 / Accepted: 15 March 2012 / Published: 10 April 2012
Cited by 43 | PDF Full-text (1521 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The genus Megalocytivirus, represented by red sea bream iridovirus (RSIV), the first identified and one of the best characterized megalocytiviruses, Infectious spleen and kidney necrosis virus (ISKNV), the type species of the genus, and numerous other isolates, is the newest genus [...] Read more.
The genus Megalocytivirus, represented by red sea bream iridovirus (RSIV), the first identified and one of the best characterized megalocytiviruses, Infectious spleen and kidney necrosis virus (ISKNV), the type species of the genus, and numerous other isolates, is the newest genus within the family Iridoviridae. Viruses within this genus are causative agents of severe disease accompanied by high mortality in multiple species of marine and freshwater fish. To date outbreaks of megalocytivirus-induced disease have occurred primarily in south-east Asia and Japan, but infections have been detected in Australia and North America following the importation of infected ornamental fish. The first outbreak of megalocytiviral disease was recorded in cultured red sea bream (Pagrus major) in Japan in 1990 and was designated red sea bream iridovirus disease (RSIVD). Following infection fish became lethargic and exhibited severe anemia, petechiae of the gills, and enlargement of the spleen. Although RSIV was identified as an iridovirus, sequence analyses of RSIV genes revealed that the virus did not belong to any of the four known genera within the family Iridoviridae. Thus a new, fifth genus was established and designated Megalocytivirus to reflect the characteristic presence of enlarged basophilic cells within infected organs. Indirect immunofluorescence tests employing recently generated monoclonal antibodies and PCR assays are currently used in the rapid diagnosis of RSIVD. For disease control, a formalin-killed vaccine was developed and is now commercially available in Japan for several fish species. Following the identification of RSIV, markedly similar viruses such as infectious spleen and kidney necrosis virus (ISKNV), dwarf gourami iridovirus (DGIV), turbot reddish body iridovirus (TRBIV), Taiwan grouper iridovirus (TGIV), and rock bream iridovirus (RBIV) were isolated in East and Southeast Asia. Phylogenetic analyses of the major capsid protein (MCP) and ATPase genes indicated that although these viruses shared considerable sequence identity, they could be divided into three tentative species, represented by RSIV, ISKNV and TRBIV, respectively. Whole genome analyses have been reported for several of these viruses. Sequence analysis detected a characteristic difference in the genetic composition of megalocytiviruses and other members of the family in reference to the large and small subunits of ribonucleotide reductase (RR-1, RR‑2). Megalocytiviruses contain only the RR-2 gene, which is of eukaryotic origin; whereas the other genera encode both the RR-1 and RR-2 genes which are thought to originate from Rickettsia-like a-proteobacteria. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Viruses Infecting Fish, Amphibians, and Reptiles)
Open AccessReview Immunity to Fish Rhabdoviruses
Viruses 2012, 4(1), 140-166; doi:10.3390/v4010140
Received: 1 December 2011 / Revised: 21 December 2011 / Accepted: 10 January 2012 / Published: 18 January 2012
Cited by 22 | PDF Full-text (266 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Members of the family Rhabdoviridae are single-stranded RNA viruses and globally important pathogens of wild and cultured fish and thus relatively well studied in their respective hosts or other model systems. Here, we review the protective immune mechanisms that fish mount in [...] Read more.
Members of the family Rhabdoviridae are single-stranded RNA viruses and globally important pathogens of wild and cultured fish and thus relatively well studied in their respective hosts or other model systems. Here, we review the protective immune mechanisms that fish mount in response to rhabdovirus infections. Teleost fish possess the principal components of innate and adaptive immunity found in other vertebrates. Neutralizing antibodies are critical for long-term protection from fish rhabdoviruses, but several studies also indicate a role for cell-mediated immunity. Survival of acute rhabdoviral infection is also dependent on innate immunity, particularly the interferon (IFN) system that is rapidly induced in response to infection. Paradoxically, rhabdoviruses are sensitive to the effects of IFN but virulent rhabdoviruses can continue to replicate owing to the abilities of the matrix (M) protein to mediate host-cell shutoff and the non‑virion (NV) protein to subvert programmed cell death and suppress functional IFN. While many basic features of the fish immune response to rhabdovirus infections are becoming better understood, much less is known about how factors in the environment affect the ecology of rhabdovirus infections in natural populations of aquatic animals. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Viruses Infecting Fish, Amphibians, and Reptiles)
Open AccessReview Ecopathology of Ranaviruses Infecting Amphibians
Viruses 2011, 3(11), 2351-2373; doi:10.3390/v3112351
Received: 16 September 2011 / Revised: 3 November 2011 / Accepted: 10 November 2011 / Published: 22 November 2011
Cited by 54 | PDF Full-text (877 KB)
Abstract
Ranaviruses are capable of infecting amphibians from at least 14 families and over 70 individual species. Ranaviruses infect multiple cell types, often culminating in organ necrosis and massive hemorrhaging. Subclinical infections have been documented, although their role in ranavirus persistence and emergence [...] Read more.
Ranaviruses are capable of infecting amphibians from at least 14 families and over 70 individual species. Ranaviruses infect multiple cell types, often culminating in organ necrosis and massive hemorrhaging. Subclinical infections have been documented, although their role in ranavirus persistence and emergence remains unclear. Water is an effective transmission medium for ranaviruses, and survival outside the host may be for significant duration. In aquatic communities, amphibians, reptiles and fish may serve as reservoirs. Controlled studies have shown that susceptibility to ranavirus infection and disease varies among amphibian species and developmental stages, and likely is impacted by host-pathogen coevolution, as well as, exogenous environmental factors. Field studies have demonstrated that the likelihood of epizootics is increased in areas of cattle grazing, where aquatic vegetation is sparse and water quality is poor. Translocation of infected amphibians through commercial trade (e.g., food, fish bait, pet industry) contributes to the spread of ranaviruses. Such introductions may be of particular concern, as several studies report that ranaviruses isolated from ranaculture, aquaculture, and bait facilities have greater virulence (i.e., ability to cause disease) than wild-type isolates. Future investigations should focus on the genetic basis for pathogen virulence and host susceptibility, ecological and anthropogenic mechanisms contributing to emergence, and vaccine development for use in captive populations and species reintroduction programs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Viruses Infecting Fish, Amphibians, and Reptiles)
Open AccessReview Herpesviruses that Infect Fish
Viruses 2011, 3(11), 2160-2191; doi:10.3390/v3112160
Received: 15 September 2011 / Revised: 15 October 2011 / Accepted: 22 October 2011 / Published: 8 November 2011
Cited by 26 | PDF Full-text (1246 KB)
Abstract
Herpesviruses are host specific pathogens that are widespread among vertebrates. Genome sequence data demonstrate that most herpesviruses of fish and amphibians are grouped together (family Alloherpesviridae) and are distantly related to herpesviruses of reptiles, birds and mammals (family Herpesviridae). Yet, [...] Read more.
Herpesviruses are host specific pathogens that are widespread among vertebrates. Genome sequence data demonstrate that most herpesviruses of fish and amphibians are grouped together (family Alloherpesviridae) and are distantly related to herpesviruses of reptiles, birds and mammals (family Herpesviridae). Yet, many of the biological processes of members of the order Herpesvirales are similar. Among the conserved characteristics are the virion structure, replication process, the ability to establish long term latency and the manipulation of the host immune response. Many of the similar processes may be due to convergent evolution. This overview of identified herpesviruses of fish discusses the diseases that alloherpesviruses cause, the biology of these viruses and the host-pathogen interactions. Much of our knowledge on the biology of Alloherpesvirdae is derived from research with two species: Ictalurid herpesvirus 1 (channel catfish virus) and Cyprinid herpesvirus 3 (koi herpesvirus). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Viruses Infecting Fish, Amphibians, and Reptiles)
Open AccessReview Viruses Infecting Reptiles
Viruses 2011, 3(11), 2087-2126; doi:10.3390/v3112087
Received: 2 September 2011 / Revised: 19 October 2011 / Accepted: 21 October 2011 / Published: 1 November 2011
Cited by 45 | PDF Full-text (314 KB)
Abstract
A large number of viruses have been described in many different reptiles. These viruses include arboviruses that primarily infect mammals or birds as well as viruses that are specific for reptiles. Interest in arboviruses infecting reptiles has mainly focused on the role [...] Read more.
A large number of viruses have been described in many different reptiles. These viruses include arboviruses that primarily infect mammals or birds as well as viruses that are specific for reptiles. Interest in arboviruses infecting reptiles has mainly focused on the role reptiles may play in the epidemiology of these viruses, especially over winter. Interest in reptile specific viruses has concentrated on both their importance for reptile medicine as well as virus taxonomy and evolution. The impact of many viral infections on reptile health is not known. Koch’s postulates have only been fulfilled for a limited number of reptilian viruses. As diagnostic testing becomes more sensitive, multiple infections with various viruses and other infectious agents are also being detected. In most cases the interactions between these different agents are not known. This review provides an update on viruses described in reptiles, the animal species in which they have been detected, and what is known about their taxonomic positions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Viruses Infecting Fish, Amphibians, and Reptiles)
Open AccessReview Antiviral Immunity in Amphibians
Viruses 2011, 3(11), 2065-2086; doi:10.3390/v3112065
Received: 5 September 2011 / Revised: 20 October 2011 / Accepted: 22 October 2011 / Published: 31 October 2011
Cited by 18 | PDF Full-text (1072 KB)
Abstract
Although a variety of virus species can infect amphibians, diseases caused by ranaviruses ([RVs]; Iridoviridae) have become prominent, and are a major concern for biodiversity, agriculture and international trade. The relatively recent and rapid increase in prevalence of RV infections, the [...] Read more.
Although a variety of virus species can infect amphibians, diseases caused by ranaviruses ([RVs]; Iridoviridae) have become prominent, and are a major concern for biodiversity, agriculture and international trade. The relatively recent and rapid increase in prevalence of RV infections, the wide range of host species infected by RVs, the variability in host resistance among population of the same species and among different developmental stages, all suggest an important involvement of the amphibian immune system. Nevertheless, the roles of the immune system in the etiology of viral diseases in amphibians are still poorly investigated. We review here the current knowledge of antiviral immunity in amphibians, focusing on model species such as the frog Xenopus and the salamander (Ambystoma tigrinum), and on recent progress in generating tools to better understand how host immune defenses control RV infections, pathogenicity, and transmission. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Viruses Infecting Fish, Amphibians, and Reptiles)
Open AccessReview Viruses of Fish: An Overview of Significant Pathogens
Viruses 2011, 3(11), 2025-2046; doi:10.3390/v3112025
Received: 2 September 2011 / Revised: 26 September 2011 / Accepted: 28 September 2011 / Published: 25 October 2011
Cited by 34 | PDF Full-text (6095 KB)
Abstract
The growing global demand for seafood together with the limited capacity of the wild-capture sector to meet this demand has seen the aquaculture industry continue to grow around the world. A vast array of aquatic animal species is farmed in high density [...] Read more.
The growing global demand for seafood together with the limited capacity of the wild-capture sector to meet this demand has seen the aquaculture industry continue to grow around the world. A vast array of aquatic animal species is farmed in high density in freshwater, brackish and marine systems where they are exposed to new environments and potentially new diseases. On-farm stresses may compromise their ability to combat infection, and farming practices facilitate rapid transmission of disease. Viral pathogens, whether they have been established for decades or whether they are newly emerging as disease threats, are particularly challenging since there are few, if any, efficacious treatments, and the development of effective viral vaccines for delivery in aquatic systems remains elusive. Here, we review a few of the more significant viral pathogens of finfish, including aquabirnaviruses and infectious hematopoietic necrosis virus which have been known since the first half of the 20th century, and more recent viral pathogens, for example betanodaviruses, that have emerged as aquaculture has undergone a dramatic expansion in the past few decades. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Viruses Infecting Fish, Amphibians, and Reptiles)
Open AccessReview The Molecular Biology of Frog Virus 3 and other Iridoviruses Infecting Cold-Blooded Vertebrates
Viruses 2011, 3(10), 1959-1985; doi:10.3390/v3101959
Received: 30 August 2011 / Revised: 27 September 2011 / Accepted: 27 September 2011 / Published: 20 October 2011
Cited by 33 | PDF Full-text (2660 KB)
Abstract
Frog virus 3 (FV3) is the best characterized member of the family Iridoviridae. FV3 study has provided insights into the replication of other family members, and has served as a model of viral transcription, genome replication, and virus-mediated host-shutoff. Although the [...] Read more.
Frog virus 3 (FV3) is the best characterized member of the family Iridoviridae. FV3 study has provided insights into the replication of other family members, and has served as a model of viral transcription, genome replication, and virus-mediated host-shutoff. Although the broad outlines of FV3 replication have been elucidated, the precise roles of most viral proteins remain unknown. Current studies using knock down (KD) mediated by antisense morpholino oligonucleotides (asMO) and small, interfering RNAs (siRNA), knock out (KO) following replacement of the targeted gene with a selectable marker by homologous recombination, ectopic viral gene expression, and recombinant viral proteins have enabled researchers to systematically ascertain replicative- and virulence-related gene functions. In addition, the application of molecular tools to ecological studies is providing novel ways for field biologists to identify potential pathogens, quantify infections, and trace the evolution of ecologically important viral species. In this review, we summarize current studies using not only FV3, but also other iridoviruses infecting ectotherms. As described below, general principles ascertained using FV3 served as a model for the family, and studies utilizing other ranaviruses and megalocytiviruses have confirmed and extended our understanding of iridovirus replication. Collectively, these and future efforts will elucidate molecular events in viral replication, intrinsic and extrinsic factors that contribute to disease outbreaks, and the role of the host immune system in protection from disease. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Viruses Infecting Fish, Amphibians, and Reptiles)

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