Detection of white sturgeon iridovirus (WSIV) in wild sturgeons (Actinopterygii: Acipenseriformes: Acipenseridae) in Poland
Introduction White sturgeon iridovirus (WSIV) disease is caused by a virus of the eponymous family and is mostly triggered by stressful environmental conditions, i.e. high rearing density, excessive handling, or temporary loss of water. The aim of this study was to develop the most effective diagnostic method for quick and efficient confirmation or exclusion of the presence of WSIV. Material and Methods A total of 42 samples (spleen, gills, intestine, skin, kidney, and brain) were collected from eight sturgeon (Acipenser gueldenstaedtii and A. oxyrinchus) aged ≤5+ farmed or caught between 2010 and 2014 in open waters (Dąbie Lake and Szczecin Lagoon). They were tested for WSIV presence using conventional PCR, qPCR, and in situ hybridisation (ISH). Results In gross examination, all fish appeared to be healthy. Neither species showed clinical signs typical of WSIV infection. In the majority of cases, fragments of iridoviral DNA were found using molecular methods in the kidneys, and also in the liver, gills, and skin. The detection rate using ISH was 47.37% and most commonly the brain and kidney tissues were positive. The most efficient of the methods used was real-time PCR, with 100% effectiveness in detection of WSIV DNA. Conclusion The study demonstrates the capabilities for WSIV diagnosis available to sturgeon farmers and water administrators, indicating useful methods of adequate sensitivity as well as organs to sample in order to achieve the highest probability of viral detection.