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To evaluate the effect of a multidose acyclovir protocol on koi herpesvirus (KHV) viral load and mortality in a cohabitation challenge.


180 koi fish.


Forty fish (shedders) were immersed in a 0.5 KHV plaque-forming units/mL static bath for 8 hours. Mock shedders were treated similarly but exposed to cell culture media. KHV shedders were then transferred into 8 tanks (5 shedders per tank) containing 10 naïve fish (cohabitants) each. Fish in the acyclovir group (AT) received a 10 mg/kg acyclovir intracoelomic injection 1, 3, and 6 days after the first confirmed KHV mortality. Positive controls (PC) were treated similarly but received sterile saline injections. Negative controls (NC) were exposed to mock shedders. Morbidity and mortality were evaluated daily for 50 days post-challenge. Quantitative PCR was used to determine viral load in the gill biopsies of shedders and cohabitants collected at days 19 (T1), 22 (T2), 25 (T3), 34 (T4), and 50 (T5) post-challenge.


Survival curves analyzed by the Gehan-Breslow-Wilcoxon method revealed a delayed onset of mortalities and a significantly lower KHV load at T2 and T3 detected in AT cohabitant fish (P = .042) compared to PC group. However, there were no significant differences in overall mortality or viral loads at T5.


The acyclovir protocol used in this study did not control viral infection or mortality at the end of the 50-day trial. Shorter intervals between injections could improve outcomes, but the additional stress inflicted by handling should be considered. Exploring other therapeutic alternatives and doses is warranted.

Open access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research


Objective—To determine management, fish, and environmental risk factors for increased mortality and an increased proportion of runts for white sturgeon exposed to white sturgeon iridovirus (WSIV) and white sturgeon herpesvirus-2 (WSHV-2).

Animals—White sturgeon in 57 tanks at 1 farm and observations made for fish at another farm.

Procedure—A prospective cohort study was conducted. Data on mortality, proportion of runts, and potential risk factors were collected. Five fish from each tank were examined for WSIV and WSHV-2 via inoculation of susceptible cell lines and microscopic examination of stained tissue sections. An ANCOVA was used to evaluate effects of risk factors on mortality and proportion of runts.

Results—Major determinants of number of dead fish (natural logarithm [ln]-transformed) were spawn, source (90% confidence interval [CI] for regression coefficient, 0.62 to 2.21), and stocking density (90% CI, 0.003 to 0.03). Main predictors of proportion of runts (ln-transformed) were spawn, mortality incidence density (90% CI, 0.004 to 0.03), age (90% CI, –0.012 to –0.004), and the difference in weight between the largest and smallest nonrunt fish (90% CI, 0.0002 to 1.24). Additional observations indicated a possible protective effect attributable to previous exposure to the viruses.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Mortality and proportion of runts for white sturgeon after exposure to WSIV and WSHV-2 may be reduced for a farm at which the viruses are endemic by selection of specific broodstock, stocking with fish that survived outbreaks of viral disease, using all-in, all-out production, and decreasing stocking densities. (Am J Vet Res 2000;61:1232–1240)

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research


Objective—To evaluate the long-term protective immunity of a cyprinid herpesvirus 3 (CyHV3) vaccine in naïve koi (Cyprinus carpio koi).

Animals—72 koi.

Procedures—Vaccinated koi (n = 36) and unvaccinated control koi (36) were challenge exposed to a wild-type CyHV3 strain (KHVp8 F98-50) 13 months after vaccination.

Results—The CyHV3 vaccine provided substantial protective immunity against challenge exposure. The proportional mortality rate was less in vaccinated koi (13/36 [36%]) than in unvaccinated koi (36/36 [100%]). For koi that died during the experiment, mean survival time was significantly greater in vaccinated than in unvaccinated fish (17 vs 10 days).

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—The CyHV3 vaccine provided substantial protective immunity against challenge exposure with CyHV3 13 months after vaccination. This provided evidence that koi can be vaccinated annually with the CyHV3 vaccine to significantly reduce mortality and morbidity rates associated with CyHV3 infection.

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research


Objective—To investigate safety and efficacy of a cyprinid herpesvirus type 3 (CyHV3) modified-live virus vaccine for the prevention of koi herpesvirus disease (KHVd).

Animals—420 healthy koi (Cyprinus carpio koi).

Procedures—Fish were vaccinated with a 1× dose or 10× overdose of CyHV3 modified-live virus vaccine or a placebo through bath exposure in tanks at 22°C. Horizontal transmission of vaccine virus was evaluated by commingling unvaccinated and vaccinated fish. Efficacy was evaluated by challenge exposure of vaccinated and naïve fish to a wild-type virus. Fish that died were submitted for quantitative PCR assay for CyHV3 and histologic evaluation.

Results—The CyHV3 vaccine was safe and efficacious, even at a 10× overdose. Vaccine-associated mortality rate was inversely associated with body weight, with a cumulative mortality rate of 9.4% (18/192) in fish weighing ≤ 87 g and no deaths in fish weighing > 87 g (0/48). Horizontal transfer of vaccine virus from vaccinates to naïve fish was negligible. For efficacy, the vaccine provided a significant reduction in mortality rate after challenge exposure to a wild-type virus, with a prevented fraction of 0.83 versus the placebo control fish.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—KHVd is highly contagious and commonly leads to deaths in 80% to 100% of exposed fish, representing a major threat to koi and common carp populations throughout the world. The CyHV3 modified-live virus vaccine had a favorable safety profile and was an effective vaccine for the control of KHVd in koi weighing > 87 g.

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research