Dates: 17-28 September 2018
Forum coordinator: Dr. Snježana Zrnčić, HVI. Zagreb, Croatia.
Dr. Anna Toffan, IZSV, OIE Reference Laboratory for VER, Italy
Dr. Alain le Breton, VETEAU, France
Niccoló Vendramin, PhD student/Veterinarian, DTU-Aqua, Denmark
The discussion on Betanodavirus is the second topic addressed by the MedAID Health Forum, which is conceived as a platform to gather field diagnosticians, laboratories, relevant authorities in charge of disease management in the Mediterranean mariculture and other stakeholders.
Betanodavirus causes a disease known as Viral Encephalopathy and Retinopathy (VER), also known as Viral Nervous Necrosis (VNN). Since its first description during the early nineties, the disease is now endemic in the Mediterranean Sea and it is considered the most important viral disease affecting farmed and wild marine species. Betanodaviruses have an extended host range, including sea bass, groupers, flatfish and drums but the species that suffer more from this disease in the Mediterranean is undoubtedly the European sea bass (Dicentrarchus labrax).Continue reading
The disease and the virus
Viral Encephalopathy and Retinopathy is a viral disease affecting more than 50 fish species, both wild and farmed (sea bass, grouper, sea bream, striped jack, flat fish etc.)(OIE, 2016). The disease causes neurological symptoms and increased mortalities. The disease occurrence has a seasonal pattern, with most outbreaks during the summertime, because of the higher temperatures of the water, which favors virus replication. Fish fry and larvae seem to be most susceptible, and in this age-group the disease can cause up to 100% mortality. Transmission of the disease can occur both horizontal (from fish to fish or equipment/feed to fish) and vertically associated (from brood stock to progeny), and the virus is very persistent in the environment, making spread with vectors (such as boats, feed and equipment) possible. As the name suggest, the disease manifest in the central nervous system causing histopathological necrosis in the brain and retina. Affected fish will either show clinical symptoms such as loss of buoyance control, spiral swimming pattern and darkening of the skin, or die before symptoms appear.Continue reading
Viral encephalopathy and retinopathy (VER), also known as viral nervous necrosis (VNN), is a severe neuropathological disease caused by RNA viruses belonging to the Nodaviridae family, genus Betanodavirus. This infectious agent, detected in the early nineties, has rapidly spread worldwide becoming endemic and representing one of the most important limiting factors to the development of mariculture in several countries. Given the expanding host range and geographic diffusion, the disease has recently been included among the most significant viral pathogens of finfish.