Channel catfish virus (CCV) disease is an acute haemorrhagic disease in juvenile channel catfish (Ictalurus punctatus). While fish that survive primary CCV infection are suspected of being carriers of CCV, little is known concerning CCV latency. In this report, fingerling catfish were infected with CCV by experimental immersion challenge. Infected fish displayed clinical signs of CCV disease, but 22% of infected fish survived the acute disease. At 140 days post-infection, PCR analysis detected CCV DNA in the blood, brain, intestines, kidney, liver and peripheral blood leukocytes of latently infected fish. Further analysis indicated the CCV genome may exist as circular or concatemeric DNA during virus latency. This study, employing an experimental model of CCV disease, confirms that CCV establishes a latent infection of channel catfish.


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