The genetic diversity and epizootiology of infectious hematopoietic necrosis virus.
Oshima, K. H., Arakawa, C. K., Higman, K. H., Landolt, M. L., Nichol, S. T. and Winton, J. R.
Infectious hematopoietic necrosis virus (IHNV) is a rhabdovirus which causes a serious disease in salmonid fish. The T1 ribonuclease fingerprinting method was used to compare the RNA genomes of 26 isolates of IHNV recovered from sockeye salmon (Oncorhynchus nerka), chinook salmon (O. tshawytscha), and steelhead trout (O.mykiss) throughout the enzootic portion of western North America. Most of the isolates analyzed in this study were from a single year (1987) to limit time of isolation as a source of genetic variation. In addition, isolates from different years collected at three sites were analyzed to investigate genetic drift or evolution of IHNV within specific locations. All of the isolates examined by T1 fingerprinting analysis contained less than a 50% variation in spot location and were represented by a single fingerprint group. The observed variation was estimated to correspond to less than 5% variation in the nucleic acid sequence. However, sufficient variation was detected to separate the isolates into four subgroups which appeared to correlate to different geographic regions. Host species appeared not to be a significant source of variation. The evolutionary and epizootiologic significance of these findings and their relationship to other evidence of genetic variation in IHNV isolates are discussed.