Pathology of tumors in fish associated with retroviruses: a review.Vet Pathol. 2013 May; 50(3):390-403.VP
Thirteen proliferative diseases in fish have been associated in the literature with 1 or more retroviruses. Typically, these occur as seasonal epizootics affecting farmed and wild fish, and most lesions resolve spontaneously. Spontaneous resolution and lifelong resistance to reinfection are 2 features of some piscine retrovirus-induced tumors that have stimulated research interest in this field. The purpose of this review is to present the reader with the epidemiological and morphological features of proliferative diseases in fish that have been associated with retroviruses by 1 or more of the following methods: detection of C-type retrovirus-like particles or reverse transcriptase activity in tumor tissues; successful tumor transmission trials using well-characterized, tumor-derived, cell-free inocula; or molecular characterization of the virus from spontaneous and experimentally induced tumors. Two of the diseases included in this review, European smelt spawning papillomatosis and bicolor damselfish neurofibromatosis, at one time were attributed to a retroviral etiology, but both are now believed to involve additional viral agents based on more recent investigations. We include the latter 2 entities to update the reader about these developments.