John Libbey Eurotext



Herpesvirus infections in marine bivalves Volume 6, issue 3, Mai - Juin 2002


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Ifremer, Laboratoire de génétique et pathologie, 17390 La Tremblade Ifremer, Laboratoire de génétique et pathologie, 17390 La Tremblade

Herpesvirus infections are responsible for mass mortality among marine bivalves, especially among larvae and juveniles. It seems that only one herpesvirus is able to infect very different species such as oysters, clams or scallops. This virus presents a morphology typical of the Herpesviridae family. Nevertheless, its DNA presents very little homology with other herpesvirus genomes. Thus, it has been suggested that a new herpesvirus group be created : the invertebrate herpesviruses for which OsHV1 is the only present candidate. Diagnostic tools, including PCR and in situ hybridisation, are now available and are used to control mortality of larvae and juveniles in France. These tools also made it possible to detect the virus among asymptomatic adult oysters. Such results suggest that they can be infected at this stage and can transmit the infection to larvae. Few solutions are available to combat mortality except zootechnical measures restricting manipulation and transfer of infected animals.