Citation Weidmann M (2017) Complexities of diagnostics of viruses affecting farmed aquatic species. In: Austin B & Newaj-Fyzul A (eds.) Diagnosis and Control of Diseases of Fish and Shellfish. Chichester: Wiley-Blackwell, pp. 19-36. http://eu.wiley.com/WileyCDA/WileyTitle/productCd-1119152100.html; https://doi.org/10.1002/9781119152125.ch3
Abstract This chapter gives an overview of approved diagnostic tests as listed in the Manual of Diagnostic Tests for Aquatic Animals (Aquatic Manual) of the OIE. Virus isolation can only be performed by laboratories with virus culture facilities. For finfish, there are several recommended antigen detection methods, some relying on cell culture lysates, some on stamp smears from infected tissues. These tests vary in level of complexity and detection sensitivity and can essentially only be performed by specialized laboratories. Only polymerase chain reaction (PCR) is used at the same level as virus isolation and it has been shown that real-time (RT)-PCR is as sensitive as virus isolation for the detection of rhabdoviruses. Reflecting discussions in medical virology, RT-PCR is a very good tool to compensate for missing virus isolation facilities but it cannot replace basic virological, sequencing and epidemiological work as virus isolates are still the basis of all research and development.