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Characterization of a Novel Megalocytivirus Isolated from European Chub (Squalius cephalus)

Department of Animal Sciences, College of Agricultural and Life Sciences, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611, USA
Department of Infectious Diseases and Immunology, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611, USA
Department of Pathology, University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston, TX 77555, USA
Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (CEFAS), Weymouth DT4 8UB, UK
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Viruses 2019, 11(5), 440;
Received: 31 March 2019 / Revised: 26 April 2019 / Accepted: 28 April 2019 / Published: 15 May 2019
PDF [2382 KB, uploaded 15 May 2019]


A novel virus from moribund European chub (Squalius cephalus) was isolated on epithelioma papulosum cyprini (EPC) cells. Transmission electron microscopic examination revealed abundant non-enveloped, hexagonal virus particles in the cytoplasm of infected EPC cells consistent with an iridovirus. Illumina MiSeq sequence data enabled the assembly and annotation of the full genome (128,216 bp encoding 108 open reading frames) of the suspected iridovirus. Maximum Likelihood phylogenetic analyses based on 25 iridovirus core genes supported the European chub iridovirus (ECIV) as being the sister species to the recently-discovered scale drop disease virus (SDDV), which together form the most basal megalocytivirus clade. Genetic analyses of the ECIV major capsid protein and ATPase genes revealed the greatest nucleotide identity to members of the genus Megalocytivirus including SDDV. These data support ECIV as a novel member within the genus Megalocytivirus. Experimental challenge studies are needed to fulfill River’s postulates and determine whether ECIV induces the pathognomonic microscopic lesions (i.e., megalocytes with basophilic cytoplasmic inclusions) observed in megalocytivirus infections. View Full-Text
Keywords: megalocytivirus; iridovirus; European chub megalocytivirus; iridovirus; European chub

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Halaly, M.A.; Subramaniam, K.; Koda, S.A.; Popov, V.L.; Stone, D.; Way, K.; Waltzek, T.B. Characterization of a Novel Megalocytivirus Isolated from European Chub (Squalius cephalus). Viruses 2019, 11, 440.

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