KHV Koi Virus Disease, Koi Fishpond Health

Page Summary:  KHV in koi is apparently a type of fish HIV virus. It is deadly and has been responsible for wiping out whole koi populations in breeding facilities. The origin of this very serious and contagious disease is widely held to be in Israel koi farms. To the best of my knowledge and in many countries the disease is so serious that mandatory reporting of the disease to the authorities is required. Infections of koi with KHV made the whole koi keeping and koi breeding insustry to seriously think more about koi quaranting systems and requirements.

Koi KHV... Deadly Disease

The koi herpes birus, known as KHV to koi keepers, is one of the biggest koi health problems that koi and pond keepers face. Signs of the disease demands urgent koi treatment in any fishpond that is affected.

Scientifically speaking, this koi disease is a virus infection that ravages koi health.

First discovered in 1998 in Israel, after large numbers of koi deaths there, this koi disease has gone on to show itself in many other countries across the world.

In particular, this koi health problem has been associated with a number of koi deaths in the UK.

So far, in all recorded instances of KHV so far, it has been largely restricted to just carp and variants of them.

What Does KHV Koi Disease do in my Fishpond?

KHV is a highly contagious koi disease that has reached a prevalence rate of as much as 90% in some carp populations. This level is far higher than any other well known koi health risks, for example the Spring Viraemia koi disease.

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Usually this koi health problem occurs at temperatures of around 17 – 23C, and causes a number of worrying symptoms that need urgent koi treatment if the fish are to recover. Symptoms include erratic swimming, lethargy, increased production of mucus, internal hemorrhaging within the liver and gill necrosis. Koi health is further diminished because it lowers koi immunity, causing them to fall victim to many secondary infections.

Detection of KHV in Order to Provide Koi Treatment

KHV must be diagnosed early if we are to provide koi treatment in time to save affected fish. In order to diagnose koi correctly it is necessary to detect the presence of this herpes type koi disease. This can be done by looking at the koi’s cell tissue culture through special molecular biology techniques, which of course is not a simple process. So far, koi fish biologists have managed to isolate KHV in fish gills, brains and kidneys. Because KHV is a herpes virus, this koi disease has the ability to lie dormant for extended periods inside body tissues, only becoming triggered by outside factors like stress. This means that identification and koi treatment of infected fish is difficult, which means that the threat of transmission to other fish and other waters is increased.

Dealing with KHV – Koi Treatment

When it comes to koi treatment for KHV, currently the only way of fighting this disease is through preventative measures. There is no drug or medicine available for koi treatment as of yet. One way to make sure that the herpes virus has not infected the koi yet is to have it tested. The method that is used is the PRC test. As a koi owner, the individual has the responsibility to make sure that their koi does not get infected. For individuals who are looking for a new koi pet, it might pay to research first about reliable koi dealers. It would also be good to refer and ask official bodies or lawful organizations about the disease and disease-free producers to make sure. The responsibility lies with the people dealing with koi.

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