Aquacultured koi and common carp (Cyprinus carpio) are intensively bred for ornamental purposes and for human consumption worldwide. The carp and koi farming industries have suffered enormous economic losses over the past decade due to an epizootic disease caused by Cyprinus herpesvirus-3 (CyHV-3) also known as koi herpesvirus and carp interstitial nephritis gill necrosis virus. CyHV-3 is a large dsDNA virus, morphologically similar to herpesviruses, yet contains genetic elements similar to those of pox, irido- and herpesviruses. Considering the phylogenic distance between CyHV-3 and higher vertebrate herpesviruses, CyHV-3 represents the prototype of viruses assigned to the novel family Alloherpesviridae. Although emergence of a new virus rarely initiates a pandemic so severe that it reduces the life expectancy of a population, CyHV-3 is exceptional because of its enormous impact on the world carp population. High population density is the major contributing factor to the epizootic disease caused by CyHV-3.
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Acknowledgments This study was supported by the US-Israel BARD Contract No. IS-3979-07 and IS-3997-07. We thank Prof. Zen’ichiro Kawabata of the RIHN Project, Kyoto, Japan, for the opportunity to present our thoughts at the 2008 Kyoto symposium on ‘Environmental Change, Pathogens and Human Linkages’. The doctoral fellowship of Maya Ilouze was provided by the Israeli Ministry of Science, Culture and Sport.
- Carp disease
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics