Invasive Animals CRC > Research > Research Programs 2012-2017 > Inland Waters Pest Pest Products and Strategies > Cyprinid herpesvirus-3 (CyHV-3) as a biological control agent for carp in Australia

Cyprinid herpesvirus-3 (CyHV-3) as a biological control agent for carp in Australia

Project summary

There are three major sub-projects within this project. Permission was obtained from the AAHL Animal Ethics committee (AEC) to test the susceptibility of six further non-target species of fish to CyHV-3. Eels (Anguilla australis), salmon-tailed catfish (Neoarius graeffei), rainbowfish (Melanotaenia duboulayi), eel-tailed catfish (Tandanus tandanus), sea mullet (Mugil cephalus) and Australian smelt (Retropinna semoni) have all been tested.

There was no histological or molecular evidence (the latter, a CyHV-3 specific polymerase chain reaction, PCR) for infection of these species. Chickens and mice (being representative birds and mammals, respectively) were also challenged with CyHV-3 (following approval by the AAHL AEC) with no clinical signs of disease in these species.

A modelling sub-project aims to develop an agent-based epidemiological model for CyHV-3 in Australian carp. An ecological niche model for the current and potential, distribution of carp in Victoria is in development using data supplied by Dr Paul Brown and the Victorian Fish Database. This will be extended to the entire Murray-Darling Basin through a collaboration with Dr Dean Gilligan (NSW DPI).

The final sub-project involves developing a protocol for ‘the removal of CyHV-3 from the secure area at AAHL’, and is well underway.

Project objectives

  1. Determine the susceptibility to CyHV-3 of 12 further species of fish from Australian inland waters, two amphibians, two reptiles, a mammal, a bird and a crustacean.
  2. Develop an epidemiological model of CyHV-3 that can be used to assist in developing strategies for the release of CyHV-3.
  3. Transfer the Indonesian CO7 strain of KHV from the secure to the non-secure area at AAHL so that it is ready for use in any future carp control program in Australia. In addition, prepare the virus as a freeze-dried product and test the virulence of the reconstituted virus.

Project leader:

Dr Ken McColl, CSIRO

Project team:

Ken McColl, Mark Crane, Agus Sunarto (Post-Doctoral Fellow), AAHL. Peter Durr, Kerryne Graham, Scott Condie, Paul Brown, Dean Gilligan, Martin Asmus.

Project partners:

Australia: CSIRO, Australian Animal Health Laboratory, CSIRO Animal, Food and Health Sciences, CSIRO Marine and Atmospheric Research, Department of Primary Industries Victoria, Department of Primary Industries – Fisheries NSW, Commonwealth of Australia represented by the Murray-Darling Basin Authority.

International: Department of Conservation, New Zealand.

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