The outbreaks of viral encephalopathy and retinopathy (VER), caused by nervous necrosis virus (NNV), represent one of the main infectious threats for marine aquaculture worldwide. Since the first description of the disease at the end of the 1980s, a considerable amount of research has gone into understanding the mechanisms involved in fish infection, developing reliable diagnostic methods, and control measures, and several comprehensive reviews have been published to date. This review focuses on host–virus interaction and epidemiological aspects, comprising viral distribution and transmission as well as the continuously increasing host range (177 susceptible marine species and epizootic outbreaks reported in 62 of them), with special emphasis on genotypes and the effect of global warming on NNV infection, but also including the latest findings in the NNV life cycle and virulence as well as diagnostic methods and VER disease control.
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