Monday, June 20, 2011

Koi Herpesvirus

What is Koi Herpesvirus?
Koi Herpesvirus (KHV) is a DNA virus diagnosed in koi and carp. Once infected, fish will obtain KHV for life. Clinical signs of the disease appear most frequently in water temperatures between 72* and 81*F (22* and 27*C).

Signs of KHV:
In infected groups of fish, mortality can begin very rapidly after clinical signs of KHV. KHV may produce gill lesions which exhibit as gill mottling with red and white patches. Other physical signs of KHV may include bleeding gills, pale patches or blisters on the skin, and sunked eyes. Behaviorally, affected fish may remain near the surface, exhibit respiratory distress, and swimming lethargically and uncoordinated.

Methods of Infection:
Ways to spread KHV include direct contact with infected fish, fluids from infected fish and water, and mud that has come in contact with contaminated systems. Exposed fish may become infected, die, or may become a carrier.

There is no treatment for KHV. Antivirul drugs are not available to treat any virus of cultured fish. If water temperatures are increased to 86*F (30*C) during the outbreak, fish may have an increased chance of survival.

Make sure the supplier of your fish has not had any major unexplained loss of fish. The best way to prevent your fish from contracting KHV is to make sure your fish suppliers test for the disease and have not had any fish with KHV. Once you have bought your fish, quarantining them is the best way to avoid the introduction of pathogens to the rest of your pond and fish. Fish should be quarantined in a seperate system for at least 30 days.  


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