Comparison of treatments to inactivate viral hemorrhagic septicemia virus (VHSV-IVb) in frozen baitfish

Nicholas B.D. Phelps, Andrew E. Goodwin, Emily Marecaux, Sagar M. Goyal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Current US state and federal fish health regulations target the spread of viral hemorrhagic septicemia virus-IVb (VHSV-IVb) through movement restrictions of live fish; however, they largely ignore the potential for the virus to be spread through commercial distribution and use of frozen baitfish from VHSV-IVb-positive regions. Some state laws do require treatment of frozen baitfish to inactivate VHSV, and additional methods have been proposed, but few scientific studies have examined the efficacy of these treatments. In this study, bluegills Lepomis macrochirus were challenged with VHSV-IVb and frozen to represent standard industry methods, disinfected by various treatments, and tested for infectious VHSV-IVb using virus isolation. The virus was isolated from 70% of fish subjected to 3 freeze/thaw cycles. All other treatment methods were effective in inactivating the virus, including treatment with isopropyl alcohol, mineral oil, salt and borax, and dehydration. Dehydration followed by rehydration is rapid and effective, and therefore, seems to be the best option for inactivating VHSV-IVb present in frozen baitfish while maintaining their usefulness as bait.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)211-216
Number of pages6
JournalDiseases of aquatic organisms
Issue number3
StatePublished - Feb 28 2013


  • Bluegill
  • Dehydration
  • Inactivation
  • VHS


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