Tilapia lake virus disease: Phylogenetic analysis reveals that two distinct clades are circulating in Israel simultaneously

Revital Skornik, Marina Eyngor, Adi Behar, Michal Perry Markovich, Natan Wajsbrot, Eyal Klement, Nadav Davidovich*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Tilapia lake virus (TiLV) is an emerging viral disease that affects several tilapia species in different countries since 2014. In 2017–2018, 129 samples were collected from 14 tilapia farms in Israel. Ninety samples represented TiLV-suspected cases (TSC), and 39 were used as control samples (CS). RT-qPCR was performed on 89 and 39 duplicate brain and liver tissue samples from TSC samples and CS, respectively. TiLV was diagnosed in 37 (40.1%) of TSC, and two of the CS samples (5%) were also positive for TiLV. Additional validation RT-PCR was performed on positive samples, and amplified products were sequenced. Maximum-likelihood phylogenetic analysis of segment-3 of 25 selected sequences revealed two distinct clades: one virtually identical to sequences from India and the second closely related to isolates from Ecuador, Thailand, Egypt and Peru, apparently imported to Israel from Thailand. Thus, our results indicate that at least two distinct clades of TiLV are circulating in Israel simultaneously. As of today, the number of TiLV sequences available in free publicly accessible databases is limited. Nevertheless, our study provides new molecular epidemiology baseline for further epidemiological studies of TiLV.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)494-501
Number of pages8
JournalTransboundary and Emerging Diseases
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1 Mar 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 Blackwell Verlag GmbH


  • Tilapines
  • emerging disease
  • molecular epidemiology
  • phylogeny
  • tilapia lake virus (TiLV)


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