Theses and Dissertations


Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Hanson, Larry A.

Committee Member

Griffin, Matthew J.

Committee Member

Wise, David J.

Committee Member

Perkins, Andy D.

Committee Member

Waltzek, Thomas B.

Date of Degree


Document Type

Dissertation - Open Access


Veterinary Medical Science

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D)


College of Veterinary Medicine


Department of Comparative Biomedical Sciences


Channel catfish virus disease (CCVD) is the principal viral disease in the United States catfish industry. The CCVD is caused by channel catfish virus (CCV), with mortality reaching up to 100% in fingerlings. CCV is assigned taxonomically to the family Alloherpesviridae, genus Ictalurivirus, species Ictalurid herpesvirus 1 (IcHV-1). To date, virulence, immunogenicity, and genome plasticity of the CCV field isolates have not been investigated. Three genotypes of CCV (IcHV-1A, IcHV-1B, and BCAHV) were identified using restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) analysis. Virulence assessment of three representative isolates of RFLP groups suggests that IcHV-1B (pooled survival [mean ± SE]: 58.3% ± 2.6) showed significantly lower survival than IcHV-1A (68.6% ± 2.4). Re-exposure of the survivors with a representative of IcHV-1A and IcHV-1B isolates indicates a robust cross-protective effect (relative percent survival [RPS]: 80-100%). Antigenic determinants against anti-CCV monoclonal antibody Mab-95 were conserved among IcHV-1A, and IcHV-1B; however, BCAHV possesses antigenically distinct epitopes (Neutralization index [NI] = 0). Although BCAHV and CCV have nearly colinear genomes (except for the absence of ORF16A in CCV), they represent distinct species, given that nucleotide identity is 93.9%. Moreover, infectivity trials indicated that channel and hybrid catfish fingerlings might be refractive to LD50 (1.3×105 TCID50/L) dosage of BCAHV. However, previous exposure to BCAHV has protected the channel and hybrid catfish against the subsequent infection with the ATCC strain of CCV (RPS:100%). Next, two discriminatory duplex probe-based qPCR assays were designed and validated to diagnose latent IcHV-1A and IcHV-1B. Spatio-temporal survey of six Mississippi catfish hatcheries indicated that the prevalence of latent CCV genotypes varied between 25-100%. Lastly, twenty one reference quality genomes of CCV field isolates were assembled, and phylogenomic analyses supported the monophyly of the CCV field isolates with BCAHV as their closest relative. The phylogenomic analyses confirmed the two distinct genotypes (IcHV-1A and IcHV-1B) identified in RFLP analysis and further allowed the segregation of the IcHV-1A genotype into two subgroups, IcHV-1A1 and IcHV-1A2. Results from the current studies lay the foundation for future research and will help formulate efficient management strategies to reduce the economic impact of CCV in the catfish industry.

Available for download on Wednesday, May 15, 2024