Project number: 2016-183
Project Status:
Budget expenditure: $23,362.00
Principal Investigator: Katrina Roper
Organisation: Australian National University (ANU)
Project start/end date: 9 Jul 2017 - 30 Aug 2017


Carp (Cyprinus carpio) are an introduced fish that now dominate fish communities throughout many Australian inland waterways.[1] Recently, cyprinid herpesvirus 3, has been proposed as a potential biological control method for carp in Australia. [2] Reports have been published evaluating the susceptibility of non-target species [3]. However concerns remain around the ecological and environment impact of the release of the virus [4]. This proposal will provide from the published literature a risk assessment of the potential impact on human health from the release of the virus into Australian inland water systems. The psychosocial effects of a mass die off after release of the virus will also be considered in the context of comparison with similar events that have previously occurred.

A report will be provided to FRDC summarising the analysis of the literature.

1. Carp herpesvirus as a biological control for carp. Carp Factsheet CPFS7. PestSmart. March 2016.
2. Saudners G, Cooke B, McColl K, Shine R and Peacock T (2007) Modern approaches for the biological control of vertebrate pests: an Australian perspective. Biological Control 52: 288-295.
3. MColl K. (2016) Final report: Phase 3 of the carp herpesvirus project (CyHV-3). Invasive Animals CRC. Australian Government Department of Industry.
4. Lighten j and van Oosterhout C (2017) Biocontrol of common carp in Australia poses risks to biosecurity. Nature Ecology and Evolution 1:0087.


1. To conduct a risk assessment via a systematic review on the potential impact on human health from the release of cyprinid herpesvirus 3 into Australian inland water systems.
2. To evaluate the potential psychosocial impact on the public from the mass fish die-off that will result from the release of the cyprinid herpesvirus-3.
3. To produce a discussion paper for FRDC summarising the findings of the first two objectives.

Final report

ISBN: 978-0-646-98525-1
Author: Katrina Roper and Laura Ford
Final Report • 2019-11-05


The present study, undertaken by the Australian National University, was developed to investigate the potential direct risks to human health of cyprinid herpesvirus 3 (CyHV-3), as a part of investigations into species specificity of the virus under the National Carp Control Plan (NCCP). The NCCP, tasked with determining the feasibility of potential use of CyHV-3 as a biocontrol for carp in Australia, was required to consider risks and potential impacts to human health as a key component of overall ecological, social, and soci-economic risks. Direct impacts to human health would signal immediate determination for non-feasibility of CyHV-3 as a biocontrol. At the time of the investigation, CyHV-3 has been identified in 33 countries, predominantly in aquaculture facilities, but with some wild outbreaks. In most of these countries, carp are consumed by humans as a food product. This study aimed to determine if any reports have been found which identify infection of human beings by CyHV-3, whether through ingestion or other forms of exposure. Psychosocial impacts were also considered in the review of literature, including grey literature.

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