Altum Herpes Virus

I came across this article describing a unisolated herpes-like virus in Pterophyllum Altums in a virology journal. The virus only affected Altums and left scalare unaffected - implying that the virus does not affect scalare, which could also be why wild scalare are easier to import than Altum.

The journal describes the latent herpes virus is activated by stressful situations, such as the moving of aquarium decorations. This is also indicative of a high mortality rate of Altums associated with stressful shipping & acclimation periods. Could this be why such a high mortality rate is experienced with these fish? This makes more sense to me than simply attributing the mortality rate with columnaris. Perhaps there is a co-affliction of Columnaris and this virus occurring during this time period.

If there is a high infection rate of this usually non-lethal virus in large population of Altum in the wild, this would further explain why so many deaths occur just after prolonged shipping. If the virus itself isn't fatal in normal circumstances, the reactivation of the virus due to stress combined with poor shipping methods, and the infection of ubiquitous columnaris might spell the usual disaster so many hopeful hobbyists experience.

These are merely speculations with the intent to start dialogue. ... rpes-Virus