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    Hick, P. Becker, J. and Whittington, R. 2016. Aquaculture Virology.

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    Curtis, Lynda M. Grutter, Alexandra S. Smit, Nico J. and Davies, Angela J. 2013. Gnathia aureamaculosa, a likely definitive host of Haemogregarina balistapi and potential vector for Haemogregarina bigemina between fishes of the Great Barrier Reef, Australia. International Journal for Parasitology, Vol. 43, Issue. 5, p. 361.

  • Marine Biodiversity Records, Volume 2
  • September 2009, e149

Suspected viral erythrocytic necrosis (VEN) in a juvenile blackbar triggerfish, Rhinecanthus aculeatus, from Lizard Island, Great Barrier Reef, Australia

  • Angela J. Davies (a1) (a2), Lynda Curtis (a3), Alexandra S. Grutter (a3) and Nico J. Smit (a2)
  • DOI:
  • Published online: 01 September 2009

Suspected viral erythrocytic necrosis (VEN) was detected in blood films from an immature blackbar triggerfish, Rhinecanthus aculeatus, captured on a patch reef at Lizard Island, Great Barrier Reef in November 2005, probably the first record of such an infection from Australia. The fish was kept in captivity and sampled intermittently until December 2007. Giemsa-stained blood films showed initially ~18% of mature erythrocytes affected by the VEN-like condition, but accompanying erythroblasts appeared free from infection. Erythrocytes with VEN-like bodies were smooth or crenated in outline, while the inclusion bodies were intracytoplasmic, single or paired, round in outline, stained deep magenta and were between 0.5–1.7 μm across. Bodies associated with clouds of granular material, fine eosinophilic haloes, and distinct pink-stained comet-tails, were also observed. The DNA content of the VEN-like bodies was confirmed by their green fluorescence following acridine orange staining. Infection levels in this fish fell to 0.4% of mature erythrocytes by May 2006 and persisted at this level until December 2007, when the fish died after just over two years in captivity. Squashes of haematophagous, juvenile gnathiid isopods taken from this fish on initial capture, also contained eosinophilic VEN-like bodies within digesting erythrocytes, suggesting that these crustaceans may be vectors of the condition observed.

Corresponding author
Correspondence should be addressed to: A.J. Davies, School of Life Sciences, Kingston University, Kingston upon Thames, Surrey, UK email:
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N.J. Smit , A.S. Grutter , R. Adlard and A.J. Davies (2006) Hematozoa of teleosts from Lizard Island, Australia with some comments on their possible mode of transmission and the description of a new hemogregarine species. Journal of Parasitology 92, 778788.

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Marine Biodiversity Records
  • ISSN: -
  • EISSN: 1755-2672
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