Consensus PCR protocols for the detection of amphibian herpesviruses (Batrachovirus).

Licheri, Matthias; Origgi, Francesco C. (2020). Consensus PCR protocols for the detection of amphibian herpesviruses (Batrachovirus). Journal of veterinary diagnostic investigation, 32(6), pp. 864-872. Sage 10.1177/1040638720951134

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Amphibians have been disappearing at an unprecedented rate worldwide. Among the proposed contributing factors are infectious diseases. Investigations have focused mainly on ranavirus and chytrids; however, additional agents may be relevant stressors. Two novel batrachoviruses have been discovered (ranid herpesvirus 3 [RaHV-3] and bufonid herpesvirus 1 [BfHV-1]). Their clinical role is still to be clarified; however, both have been associated with obvious skin lesions in their respective hosts. Herein we present 2 consensus PCR protocols that can be used to detect all of the known and, possibly, yet to be discovered batrachoviruses. We targeted a 200 nt long, highly conserved region of the DNA terminase gene. We established a sensitive protocol, which can detect both European batrachoviruses (European batrachovirus PCR protocol; RaHV-3 and BfHV-1) and a panbatrachovirus PCR protocol detecting all known batrachoviruses, including ranid herpesvirus 1 and 2 (RaHV-1, -2). The limit of detection (LOD) for the European batrachovirus protocol was 101 copies of RaHV-3 and 102 copies of BfHV-1 per reaction. The panbatrachovirus protocol could detect all known batrachoviruses with LODs of 103 (RaHV-3, BfHV-1, RaHV-1) to 104 copies (RaHV-2) per reaction. These novel detection tools can be used as a first line of detection when herpesviral infection in amphibians is suspected, followed by additional PCRs with herpesvirus-specific primers in the case of known viral species, or sequencing as in the case of novel batrachoviruses.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


05 Veterinary Medicine > Department of Infectious Diseases and Pathobiology (DIP) > Center for Fish and Wildlife Health (FIWI)

UniBE Contributor:

Licheri, Matthias and Origgi, Francesco


500 Science > 590 Animals (Zoology)
600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health
600 Technology > 630 Agriculture








Achim Braun Parham

Date Deposited:

17 Feb 2021 14:52

Last Modified:

17 Feb 2021 14:52

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PubMed ID:


Uncontrolled Keywords:

Alloherpesviridae Batrachovirus PCR amphibian frogs herpesvirus toads wildlife




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