Infectious disease is a major challenge in aquaculture and poses a constraint for the development of farming of new species. In 2017, Siberian sturgeon (Acipenser baerii
) juveniles were imported from Italy to a Swedish farm. Transport conditions were suboptimal. Thirty percent died during transport and within the first days after arrival. Ten days after arrival, mortalities started to occur again, which prompted initiation of an investigation into the mortalities. Diseased fish were transported live to the National Veterinary Institute (SVA) for necropsy and further analysis. Pathological and histopathological investigation was conducted. Virology was performed on gills and internal organs by cell culture isolation and using specific PCR protocols against nervous necrosis virus (NNV) and Acipenser iridovirus European (AcIV-E). The juveniles displayed neurological signs such as lethargy, inability to maintain an upright position, and erratic swimming. Body condition was below normal, and gills were pale. One fish had petechial hemorrhages on the abdomen and the snout. Two specimens had intestinal hyperemia. Ventricles were air-filled, and swim bladders were deflated. Viral cell cultures gave negative results, but PCR analysis of gills and internal organs detected the presence of AcIV-E. We conclude that AcIV-E was associated with disease and high mortality in the sturgeon juveniles, and stress probably aggravated the course of the infection.
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