Characterization of perch rhabdovirus (PRV) in farmed grayling Thymallus thymallus
Diseases of Aquatic Organisms
Two Finnish fish farms experienced elevated mortality rates in farmed grayling Thymallus thymallus fry during the summer months, most typically in July. The mortalities occurred during several years and were connected with a few neurological disorders and peritonitis. Virological investigation detected an infection with an unknown rhabdovirus. Based on the entire glycoprotein (G) and partial RNA polymerase (L) gene sequences, the virus was classified as a perch rhabdovirus (PRV). Pairwise
... RV). Pairwise comparisons of the G and L gene regions of grayling isolates revealed that all isolates were very closely related, with 99 to 100% nucleotide identity, which suggests the same origin of infection. Phylogenetic analysis demonstrated that they were closely related to the strain isolated from perch Perca fluviatilis and sea trout Salmo trutta trutta caught from the Baltic Sea. The entire G gene sequences revealed that all Finnish grayling isolates, and both the perch and sea trout isolates, were most closely related to a PRV isolated in France in 2004. According to the partial L gene sequences, all of the Finnish grayling isolates were most closely related to the Danish isolate DK5533 from pike. The genetic analysis of entire G gene and partial L gene sequences showed that the Finnish brown trout isolate ka907_87 shared only approximately 67 and 78% identity, respectively, with our grayling isolates. The grayling isolates were also analysed by an immunofluorescence antibody test. This is the first report of a PRV causing disease in grayling in Finland.