Viral nervous necrosis caused by nervous necrosis virus (NNV) exacts a high mortality and results in huge economic losses in grouper aquaculture in Taiwan. The present study developed a real-time quantitative PCR (qPCR) method for NNV monitoring. The assay showed a strong linear correlation (r2 = 0.99) between threshold cycle (CT) and RNA quantities, which allowed identification of infected groupers by the CT value and could be exploited to warn of NNV infection prior to an outbreak in grouper fish farms. Real-time qPCR also confirmed the copious content of NNV in grouper fin, similar to that in primary tissues; the result was verified by using in situ reverse transcription-PCR (RT-PCR). This indicated that grouper fin was a suitable sample for NNV detection, in a manner that could be relatively benign to the fish. The rapid spread of NNV infection to the entire population of affected farms was evident. The developed real-time qPCR method is rapid, highly sensitive, and applicable to routine high-throughput detection of large numbers of samples and has potential as a suitable tool for diagnostic, epidemiological, and genetic studies of grouper aquaculture.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Microbiology (medical)