This report describes a viral epidemiological study of wild fish around the Gulf of Cadiz (southwestern Iberian Peninsula) and is focused on infectious pancreatic necrosis virus (IPNV), viral hemorrhagic septicemia virus (VHSV), and viral nervous necrosis virus (VNNV). One fish species (Chelon labrosus) was sampled inside the gulf, at the mouth of the San Pedro River. Another 29 were sampled, in three oceanographic campaigns, at sites around the Bay of Cadiz. The fish were processed individually and subjected to isolation in cell culture and molecular diagnosis. VHSV was not isolated from any species. Thirteen IPNV-type isolates were obtained from barracuda (Sphyraena sphyraena), axillary seabream (Pagellus acarne), common two-banded seabream (Diplodus vulgaris), common pandora (P. erythrinus), Senegal seabream (D. bellottii), and surmullet (Mullus surmuletus). Six VNNV isolates were obtained from axillary seabream, common pandora, black seabream (Spondyliosoma cantharus), red mullet (Mullet barbatus), Lusitanian toadfish (Halobatrachus didactylus), and tub gurnard (Chelidonichtys lucerna). In the river mouth, viruses were detected only after reamplification, obtaining prevalence percentages of IPNV and VNNV (44.4 and 63.0%, respectively) much higher than those observed in the oceanographic campaigns (25.7 and 19.6%, respectively). The opposite results were obtained in the case of VHSV after reamplification: 11.1% in the river mouth and 43.6% in the oceanic locations. Analyzing the results with respect to the proximity of the sampling sites to the coast, an anthropogenic influence on wild fish is suggested and discussed. The type of viruses and the presence of natural reassortants are also discussed.
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