Résumé: Viral Nervous Necrosis (VNN) disease is considered as one of the most serious threats for European sea bass cultured in Mediterranean Sea, with no simple and effective procedures to treat this disease. In this study, 1472 offspring resulting from artificial full factorial mating of western Mediterranean dams with sires from four different wild populations of European sea bass (Northern Atlantic, NAT; Western Mediterranean, WEM; Northern-East Mediterranean, NEM; and Southern-East Mediterranean, SEM) were challenged by experimental infection to W80 betanodavirus strain in order to evaluate genetic variations for VNN resistance among populations and genetic correlations between VNN resistance and production traits. The results showed a large variation of VNN resistance between the four populations tested as well as between sire families within strain. The survivals between pure wild populations SEM, NEM, WEM and NAT were estimated at 99%, 94%, 62%, and 44%, respectively. A moderate intra-population heritability of VNN resistance, calculated based on liability scale with sire model, was recorded for the first time in European sea bass (h2u = 0.26 ± 0.11). Finally, moderate negative genetic correlations between VNN resistance and daily growth coefficient (DGC) and body weight (BW) were also demonstrated (− 0.28 ± 0.20, − 0.35 ± 0.14, respectively) while the genetic correlation between resistance to VNN and fillet adiposity (FA) was weakly negative and not significant (− 0.13 ± 0.19). These results give good prospects of selective breeding of European sea bass for improved resistance to VNN disease.