Koi Herpesvirus (KHV): Its potential as a biological control agent for carp in Australia
McColl, K.A., Sunarto, A., Williams, L.M., Brown, P., Gilligan, D., Bell, K., East, I. and Crane, M., 2011. Koi Herpesvirus (KHV): Its potential as a biological control agent for carp in Australia. Presentation given at the 15th Australasian Vertebrate Pest Conference, 20–23 June, Sydney, NSW, Australia.
Evaluation of the feasibility of using Koi Herpesvirus (KHV), also known as Cyprinid Herpesvirus 3 (CyHV-3), as a biological control agent for carp in Australia is currently being undertaken at the high level bio-secure facility located at the Australian Animal Health Laboratory, CSIRO Livestock Industries, Geelong (McColl et al 2007). The project aims to demonstrate that the lineage of common carp present in Australian waters is susceptible to infection and disease when exposed to KHV. Ideally, use of KHV as a biological control agent should induce high mortality in carp under Australian conditions while other species of aquatic animals remain refractive to infection and/or disease.
As part of the project, a number of tools, qPCR specific for KHV, virus isolation in cell culture, immunoassays for detection and identification of KHV were established to facilitate this research. Thus it has been shown that carp sampled from Australian waters are highly susceptible to infection and disease, carp hybrids appear to be less susceptible and other species of finfish are refractory to infection. It is likely that demonstration of resistance to infection by a range of other key species of aquatic animals will be required before use of KHV as a control agent can be considered.
Recent progress on other aspects of the project, survey of carp for related viral infections, preliminary surveys to determine prevalence of carp hybrids in SE Australian waterways as well as plans for further research will be presented.
McColl KA, Sunarto A, Williams LM and Crane MSJ. 2007, Koi herpesvirus: dreaded pathogen or white knight? Aquaculture Health International Issue 9 May 2007 pp 4–6.