Journal of fish diseases vol:20 issue:2 pages:145-151
Mass mortalities of the European sea bass, Dicentrarchus labrax (L.), occurred in different ongrowing units in Greece. A presumptive diagnosis of viral nervous necrosis (VNN) was made on the basis of the light microscopic observations of a vacuolating encephalopathy and retinopathy. Positive peroxidase reaction with VNN antiserum confirmed nodavirus as the causative agent. Usually recorded in larvae and juvenile stages of different marine fish species, VNN is described in adult sea bass and sea bass reared in floating cages in the Mediterranean for the first time. The horizontal transmission of the disease has been strongly suspected. Histological analyses clearly demonstrate that cells other than nerve cells are also infected. Some epidemiological aspects of the disease are described and their implications for the establishment of prophylactic guidelines are discussed.