A herpes-like virus infects a non-ostreid bivalve species: virus replication in Ruditapes philippinarum larvae.
Sporadic high mortalities were reported in June 1997 among hatchery-reared larval Manila clam Ruditapes philippinarum in a French commercial hatchery. Cellular abnormalities were observed in semi-thin sections in affected animals. Transmission electron microscopy revealed the presence of herpes-like virus particles in larvae. This is the first description of a herpes-like virus infection in larval R. philippinarum, a non-ostreid bivalve species. Virus particles were similar to other herpes-like viruses described from different oyster species with respect to ultrastructure and morphogenesis. Electron microscopic examination also demonstrated cells with condensed chromatin and extensive perinuclear fragmentation of chromatin. Like viruses infecting oysters, the herpes-like virus detected in clams may induce apoptosis in infected animals.