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Institute of Infectology (IMED)

National Reference Laboratory for Koi Herpesvirus Infection (KHV)

The national reference laboratory for KHV infection (KHV-I) is located at the Friedrich-Loeffler-Institut, Federal Research Institute for Animal Health, and is responsible for coordinating and ensuring the diagnosis of KHV-I based on the German regulation of fish diseases and EU legislation. In the EU Directive on aquaculture and in the recommendations of the Office International des Epizooties (OIE) KHV-I (KHV disease, KHVD) is listed as a notifiable disease. For differential diagnosis, infections with the Spring Viremia of Carp virus (SVCV) and bacterial infections (Aeromonas sp., Pseudomonas sp.) must be considered.

The disease is notifiable after detection of KHV-I in association with the molecular biological detection of the pathogen.

  • Patho- and immunogenesis of Koi Herpesvirus (KHV) infections
  • Diagnosis of KHV-I and KHV
  • Carrier fish
  • Investigations on the vaccination of glass eel against herpesvirus anguillae and birnavirus of eel 
  1. Direct contact for federal and state authorities on KHV-I diagnostics
  2. Pathogen detection from sent-in samples
  3. Virus detection in suspected KHV-I cases in areas and fish farms which have so far been free from KHV or confirmation of test results of regional laboratories
  4. Application and optimization of the standards, diagnostic procedures, and diagnostic reagents
  5. Testing, standardization and improvement of test procedures for KHV-I detection
  6. Coordination of the standards and diagnostic procedures used by the veterinary laboratories
  7. Organization of training measures for experts in laboratory diagnosis from veterinary authorities
  8. Organization of comparative national ring tests
  9. Participation in comparative ring tests for EU Member States organized by the Community reference laboratory
  10. Annual report to the Community reference laboratory on epidemiological and laboratory data on the diagnosis and control of KHV-I
  11. Participation in the annual meeting of the representants of the NRL-M of the EU Member States
  • KHV antisera
  • Monoclonal antibodies against KHV
  • KHV DNA preparations

The standard procedures used for detection of KHV by the NRL for KHV infection are:

  1. Detection of KHV DNA by different PCRs
  2. Real-time PCR detection (quantitative)
  3. Serological detection of KHV infection (neutralization test, antibody ELISA)
  4. In-situ hybridization for KHV detection in organs of infected fish
  5. Immunohistochemical KHV detection in organs of infected fish 

Other methods used by the laboratory (classical and molecular virology)

  1. Chromatography (e.g. gel filtration, affinity chromatography)
  2. Electrophoresis (e.g. Immunoelectrophoresis, PAGE, IF, 2-D-electrophoresis)
  3. Cell culture techniques for fish and mammalian viruses
  4. Western und Dot Blot
  5. Cloning and sequencing
  6. Transfection
  7. Virus purification and concentration
  8. ELISA (antigen and antibody)
  9. PCR, RT-PCR, real-time PCR, in-situ hybridization 

COMMISSION IMPLEMENTING DECISION (EU) 2015/1554 of 11 September 2015 laying down rules for the application of Directive 2006/88/EC as regards requirements for surveillance and diagnostic methods (notified under document C (2015) 6188)

Council Directive 2006/88/EC on animal health requirements for aquaculture animals and products thereof, and on the prevention and control of certain diseases in aquatic animals (Official Journal of the EU No. L328 p. 14)

Regulation on Notifiable Diseases in the version of the announcement of  Juli 19th 2011 (BGBl. I S. 1404)


Law on the Prevention and Control of Infectious Animal Diseases (Animal Health Law – TierGesG) of May 22nd 2013 (BGBl. I S. 1324 (Nr. 25)

Manual of Diagnostic Tests for Aquatic Animals (2017) des Office International des Epizooties (O.I.E.)

in their latest versions