Salmon pancreas disease (SPD) and sleeping disease (SD) are emerging diseases of farmed salmon fish, that are caused by closely related, recently characterised alpha viruses. Due to the lack of diagnostics, the prevalence’s of these diseases are unknown but each is thought to be greatly under diagnosed. The primary aim of this project is to develop sensitive, specific, and easy-to-use diagnostic tests for SPD and SD. The project exploits recently acquired knowledge concerning the molecular characterisation of the viruses, to enable the production of improved reagents with which tests for detecting viral antigens and RNA in tissue samples, and virus-specific antibodies in fish sera, can be developed. Sensitive immunohistochemical and in site hybridisation methods will be used to improve the understanding of the pathogeneses of these diseases. Epidemiological aspects will also be studied by investigating the prevalence of infection using serological surveys of salmon and marine fish, by investigating the genetic diversity of virus isolates detected byre -PCR, and by investigating possible sources of infection.
Funding SchemeCSC - Cost-sharing contracts