William R. Pritchard Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital

Koi Herpesvirus (KHV)

Koi Herpesvirus (KHV) is a viral disease that is highly contagious amongst common carp, including ornamental koi. Also known as carp interstitial nephritis gill necrosis virus, this KHV can be widespread amongst pond/farm populations and have high mortality rates, with deaths starting with 24-48 hours after initial onset of clinical signs. First detected in the United States in 1998, it has now been identified in Europe, the Middle East and Asia. KHV outbreaks typically occur in spring and autumn, when water temperatures are 60-77°F (16-25°C), though outbreaks have been reported at temperatures as low as 60°F (15.5-16°C) and as high as 82°F (28°C).

KHV testing methods include both PCR and serology; ELISA/serology testing has a number of advantages over PCR testing. Herpesvirus can cause a broad latent state in which no viral particles will be detected via PCR, though the animal may still have high antibody loads and thus be serology positive. Sample collection for serology testing is non-lethal and can detect antibody reactivity long after the virus itself is cleared, allowing for broad pond/farm surveillance.

KHV ELISA/Serology sample submission form

Sample requirement: Serum in a red tube tube (no anticoagulants)

Sample processing: Spin whole blood and collect serum in a new, clean tube (no anticoagulants). Serum separator tubes are not recommended. A handling fee will be assessed for unprocessed or improperly processed blood samples.

Shipping: Ship on a cold pack for overnight delivery, Monday - Thursday only, to the address below.

Central Laboratory Receiving, Rm 1033
1 Garrod Drive
Davis, CA  95616

Turnaround time is 1-2 weeks. For faster turnaround time, submit 5+ samples in a batch.

Results will be emailed.


*An Enzyme Linked Immunosorbent Assay (ELISA) for Detection of Antibodies to the Koi Herpesvirus (KHV) in the Serum of Koi Cyprinus carpio. Mark A. Adikson, Oren Gilad and Ronal P. Hedrick. Fish Pathology, 40(2), 53-62, 2005.

Detection of Koi Herpesvirus (KHV) in Cyprinius carpio (Koi) Stocks using Enyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay (ELISA). Azila, A et al. Pertanika J. Trop. Agric. Sci. 35(1): 21-25 (2012).

*A Herpesvirus Associated with Mass Mortality of Juvenile and Adult Koi, a Strani of Common Carp. Hedrick, R P., O. Gilad, S. Yun, J.V. Spangenberg, G.D. Marty, R.W. Nordhausen, M.J. Kebus, H. Bercovier, and A. Eldar. Journal of Aquatic Animal Health, 12:44-57, 2000.

*Essential veterinary education in fish health and disease: a global perspective. Weber ES 3rd, Blanc G, Hedrick RP. Rev Sci Tech. 2009 Aug;28(2):551-8.

*Antibody response of two populations of common carp, Cyprinus carpio L., exposed to koi herpesvirus. St-Hilaire S, Beevers N, Joiner C, Hedrick RP, Way K. J Fish Dis. 2009 Apr;32(4):311-20.

Koi Herpesvirus (KHV) Disease. Katleen H. Hartman, Roy P.E. Yanong, Deborah B. Pouder, Denisse Petty, Ruth Francis-Floyd and Allen C. Riggs. University of Florida IFAS Extension VM-149

*UC Davis authored publication