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Stene A.,Alesund University College Alesund Norway | Viljugrein H.,Norwegian Veterinary Institute Oslo Norway | Solevag S.E.,Alesund University College Alesund Norway | Devold M.,PatoGen Analyse AS Alesund Norway | Aspehaug V.,PatoGen Analyse AS Alesund Norway
Journal of Fish Diseases | Year: 2015

Viral diseases represent serious challenge in marine farming of Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar L). Pancreas disease (PD) caused by a salmonid alphavirus (SAV) is by far the most serious in northern Europe. To control PD, it is necessary to identify virus transmission routes. One aspect to consider is whether the virus is transported as free particles or associated with potential vectors. Farmed salmonids have high lipid content in their tissue which may be released into the environment from decomposing dead fish. At the seawater surface, the effects of wind and ocean currents are most prominent. The aim of this study was primarily to identify whether the lipid fraction leaking from dead infected salmon contains SAV. Adipose tissue from dead SAV-infected fish from three farming sites was submerged in beakers with sea water in the laboratory and stored at different temperature and time conditions. SAV was identified by real-time RT-PCR in the lipid fractions accumulating at the water surface in the beakers. SAV-RNA was also present in the sea water. Lipid fractions were transferred to cell culture, and viable SAV was identified. Due to its hydrophobic nature, fat with infective pathogenic virus at the surface may contribute to long-distance transmission of SAV. © 2015 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

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