Forschungs- & Entwicklungsinformationsdienst der Gemeinschaft - CORDIS

Experimental demonstration that salmon strains vary in their susceptibility to pancreas disease

Results from epidemiological investigations conducted during the lifetime of the project suggested that there were significant differences in the susceptibility of different strains of Atlantic salmon to pancreas disease (PD). To investigate this further, an experimental trial with smolts of three different strains was performed.
Three distinct strains of Atlantic salmon, (A, B and C) were allocated to 3 separate seawater tanks. Fish were challenged intraperitoneally and sampled over a 42 day period. Histological examination of pancreas, heart, skeletal muscle and brain was performed and lesions scored. Virus isolation and serology by end-point virus neutralization testing was performed on serum samples. Results at each time point were compared to identify possible strain-related differences. Significant differences were detected between smolt strains, particularly in relation to mean lesion scores in pancreas, heart and skeletal muscle. Further investigations will necessary to elucidate the mechanisms underlying these differences. These results suggest that the severity of field PD outbreaks may be influenced by the strain of fish on a given site, and that selective breeding of smolts may be one possible method of mitigating losses. As a result of this work, further field trials have been initiated by smolt producers.

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Reported by

Queen's University of Belfast
Veterinary Sciences Division, Stormont
BT4 3SD Belfast
United Kingdom
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