In vivo inhibition of the Ostreid Herpesvirus-1 (OsHV-1) replication in juveniles of the Pacific oyster Crassostrea gigas by a specific RNAi targeting the viral DNA polymerase gene

Carolina Gallardo-Ybarra, Arturo Sánchez-Paz*, Trinidad Encinas-García, Christian Minjarez-Osorio, Adriana Muhlia-Almazán, Ariel Cruz-Villacorta, José Manuel Grijalva-Chon, Enrique De La Re Vega*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The global industrial farming of the Pacific oyster (Crassostrea gigas) has faced significant losses in production and a major negative social impact due to the occurrence of massive mortalities putatively attributed to the Ostreid Herpesvirus-1 (OsHV-1). Therefore, therapies based on RNA interference (RNAi), including the small hairpin RNAs (shRNA), have become promising and powerful alternatives against viral infections. A large open reading frame (ORF) in the OsHV-1 genome encodes a DNA polymerase gene. Since this polymerase is essential for viral replication, it is an ideal target for silencing OsHV-1. Thus, this study aimed to investigate the effect of silencing the OsHV-DNA polymerase gene using an shRNA in C. gigas in vivo on viral replication. The shRNA targeting the viral DNA polymerase was injected into OsHV-1 inoculated juveniles of C. gigas. The results demonstrate that silencing the viral DNA polymerase retarded the mortality of OsHV-1 experimentally infected oysters by 60 h. Furthermore, a decrease in the apoptotic levels (19%) was detected in the gills of DNApol-silenced organisms, compared to those levels observed in experimentally infected organisms. In addition, it was found that the viral load from DNApol-silenced organisms decreased in comparison to the infected oysters. These results suggest that the DNA polymerase gene was silenced, preventing viral DNA replication. Therefore, shRNA may be a promising approach for the future control of OsHV-1 infection in the Pacific oyster.

Original languageEnglish
JournalAquaculture International
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023, The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Nature Switzerland AG.

Keywords

  • Ostreid Herpesvirus-1
  • RNA interference
  • Viral DNA polymerase

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