Mortality Caused by Bath Exposure of Zebrafish (Danio rerio) Larvae to Nervous Necrosis Virus Is Limited to the Fourth Day Postfertilization.

Research paper by Danny D Morick, Or O Faigenbaum, Margarita M Smirnov, Yakov Y Fellig, Adi A Inbal, Moshe M Kotler

Indexed on: 10 Mar '15Published on: 10 Mar '15Published in: Applied and environmental microbiology


Nervous necrosis virus (NNV) is a member of the Betanodavirus genus that causes fatal diseases in over 40 species of fish worldwide. Mortality among NNV-infected fish larvae is almost 100%. In order to elucidate the mechanisms responsible for the susceptibility of fish larvae to NNV, we exposed zebrafish larvae to NNV by bath immersion at 2, 4, 6, and 8 days postfertilization (dpf). Here, we demonstrate that developing zebrafish embryos are resistant to NNV at 2 dpf due to the protection afforded by the egg chorion and, to a lesser extent, by the perivitelline fluid. The zebrafish larvae succumbed to NNV infection during a narrow time window around the 4th dpf, while 6- and 8-day-old larvae were much less sensitive, with mortalities of 24% and 28%, respectively.