VIA ProMED Mail 15 January 2011
|Wild abalone samples. ABC news.|
An outbreak of abalone viral ganglioneuritis (AVG) occurred at a farm on Tasmania’s east coast, resulting in farm and processing facility closure and implementation of a biosecurity plan designed to contain the outbreak, which the Department of Primary Industries has reported to have not yet spread to the wild. AVG is a highly virulent herpes-like virus with neurologic effects in abalone, causing weakness and death. The virus spreads from host-to-host through direct contact, the water column, and mucus expelled by dying abalone. The virus cannot long survive dry conditions. Be reassured, the virus carries no risk for infected abalone handlers or consumers. Unfortunately, there is considerable economic risk for the producer, suggested by previously reported figures. In 2007, the New South Wales Department of Primary Industries reported that AVG eliminated up to 90% of abalone stock in affected regions.