Update on the inactivation procedures for the vaccine development prospects of a new highly virulent RGNNV isolate
Viral nervous necrosis (VNN) caused by the nervous necrosis virus (NNV) affects a broad range of primarily marine fish species, with mass mortality rates often seen among larvae and juveniles. Its genetic diversification may hinder the effective implementation of preventive measures such as vaccines. The present study describes different inactivation procedures for developing an inactivated vaccine against a new NNV isolate confirmed to possess deadly effects upon the European seabass (Dicentrarchus labrax), an important Mediterranean farmed fish species that is highly susceptible to this disease. First, an NNV isolate from seabass adults diagnosed with VNN was rescued and the sequences of its two genome segments (RNA1 and RNA2) were classified into the red-spotted grouper NNV (RGNNV) genotype, closely clustering to the highly pathogenic 283.2009 isolate. The testing of different inactivation procedures revealed that the virus particles of this isolate showed a marked resistance to heat (for at least 60 °C for 120 min with and without 1% BSA) but that they were fully inactivated by 3 mJ/cm2 UV-C irradiation and 24 h 0.2% formalin treatment, which stood out as promising NNV-inactivation procedures for potential vaccine candidates. Therefore, these procedures are feasible, effective, and rapid response strategies for VNN control in aquaculture.