Characterization of a novel megalocytivirus isolated from european chub (Squalius cephalus)

Maya A. Halaly, Kuttichantran Subramaniam, Samantha A. Koda, Vsevolod L. Popov, David Stone, Keith Way, Thomas B. Waltzek

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


A novel virus from moribund European chub (Squalius cephalus) was isolated on epithelioma papulosum cyprini (EPC) cells. Transmission electron microscopic examination revealed abundant non-enveloped, hexagonal virus particles in the cytoplasm of infected EPC cells consistent with an iridovirus. Illumina MiSeq sequence data enabled the assembly and annotation of the full genome (128,216 bp encoding 108 open reading frames) of the suspected iridovirus. Maximum Likelihood phylogenetic analyses based on 25 iridovirus core genes supported the European chub iridovirus (ECIV) as being the sister species to the recently-discovered scale drop disease virus (SDDV), which together form the most basal megalocytivirus clade. Genetic analyses of the ECIV major capsid protein and ATPase genes revealed the greatest nucleotide identity to members of the genus Megalocytivirus including SDDV. These data support ECIV as a novel member within the genus Megalocytivirus. Experimental challenge studies are needed to fulfill River’s postulates and determine whether ECIV induces the pathognomonic microscopic lesions (i.e., megalocytes with basophilic cytoplasmic inclusions) observed in megalocytivirus infections.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number440
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2019


  • European chub
  • Iridovirus
  • Megalocytivirus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Infectious Diseases
  • Virology


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