A herpesvirus-type agent associated with skin lesions of green sea turtles in aquaculture

Am J Vet Res. 1975 Aug;36(08):1221-4.


Nine successive groups of green sea turtles (Chelonia mydas) were observed in aquaculture during the posthatchling period. During the first 6 months of growth, each group underwent an epizootic of skin lesions, named gray-patch disease. Two types of skin lesions are associated with gray-patch disease: papules and, more characteristically, spreading gray patches which appear 7 to 8 weeks after hatching. In both types of lesions, intranuclear inclusions are found in keratinocytes in the malpighian layer of the epidermis. Electron microscopic examination of scrapings from lesions and biopsies revealed many viral particles, with features characteristic of the herpesvirus group. Transmission of gray-patch disease is possible with bacteria-free preparations of viral particles.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Herpesviridae / ultrastructure
  • Herpesviridae Infections / microbiology
  • Herpesviridae Infections / pathology
  • Herpesviridae Infections / veterinary*
  • Seawater
  • Skin / microbiology
  • Skin / pathology
  • Skin / ultrastructure
  • Skin Diseases, Infectious / microbiology
  • Skin Diseases, Infectious / pathology
  • Skin Diseases, Infectious / veterinary*
  • Turtles*