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Hjortaas M.J.,Norwegian Veterinary Institute Oslo Norway | Bang Jensen B.,Norwegian Veterinary Institute Oslo Norway | Taksdal T.,Norwegian Veterinary Institute Oslo Norway | Olsen A.B.,Norwegian Veterinary Institute Bergen Norway | And 3 more authors.
Journal of Fish Diseases | Year: 2015

Pancreas disease (PD), caused by salmonid alphavirus subtype 3 (SAV3), emerged in Norwegian aquaculture in the 1980s and is now endemic along the south-western coast. In 2011, the first cases of PD caused by marine salmonid alphavirus subtype 2 (SAV2) were reported. This subtype has spread rapidly among the fish farms outside the PD-endemic zone and is responsible for disease outbreaks at an increasing numbers of sites. To describe the geographical distribution of salmonid alphavirus (SAV), and to assess the time and site of introduction of marine SAV2 to Norway, an extensive genetic characterization including more than 200 SAV-positive samples from 157 Norwegian marine production sites collected from May 2007 to December 2012 was executed. The first samples positive for marine SAV2 originated from Romsdal, in June 2010. Sequence analysis of the E2 gene revealed that all marine SAV2 included in this study were nearly identical, suggesting a single introduction into Norwegian aquaculture. Further, this study provides evidence of a separate geographical distribution of two subtypes in Norway. SAV3 is present in south-western Norway, and marine SAV2 circulates in north-western and Mid-Norway, a geographical area which since 2010 constitutes the endemic zone for marine SAV2. © 2015 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.


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.


Songe M.M.,Norwegian Veterinary Institute Oslo Norway | Willems A.,University of Aberdeen | Wiik-Nielsen J.,Norwegian Veterinary Institute Oslo Norway | Thoen E.,Norwegian Veterinary Institute Oslo Norway | And 3 more authors.
Journal of Fish Diseases | Year: 2015

Here, we address the morphological changes of eyed eggs of Atlantic salmon, Salmo salar L. infected with Saprolegnia from a commercial hatchery and after experimental infection. Eyed eggs infected with Saprolegnia spp. from 10 Atlantic salmon females were obtained. Egg pathology was investigated by light and scanning electron microscopy. Eggs from six of ten females were infected with S. parasitica, and two females had infections with S. diclina clade IIIA; two Saprolegnia isolates remained unidentified. Light microscopy showed S. diclina infection resulted in the chorion in some areas being completely destroyed, whereas eggs infected with S. parasitica had an apparently intact chorion with hyphae growing within or beneath the chorion. The same contrasting pathology was found in experimentally infected eggs. Scanning electron microscopy revealed that S. parasitica grew on the egg surface and hyphae were found penetrating the chorion of the egg, and re-emerging on the surface away from the infection site. The two Saprolegnia species employ different infection strategies when colonizing salmon eggs. Saprolegnia diclina infection results in chorion destruction, while S. parasitica penetrates intact chorion. We discuss the possibility these infection mechanisms representing a necrotrophic (S. diclina) vs. a facultative biotrophic strategy (S. parasitica). © 2015 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.


Songe M.M.,Norwegian Veterinary Institute Oslo Norway | Willems A.,University of Aberdeen | Sarowar M.N.,University of Aberdeen | Rajan K.,Landcatch Natural Selection Ltd Ormsary Fish Farm Lochgilphead | And 4 more authors.
Journal of Fish Diseases | Year: 2016

Since the ban of malachite green in the fish farming industry, finding alternative ways of controlling Saprolegnia infections has become of utmost importance. Much effort has been made to elucidate the mechanisms by which Saprolegnia invades fish eggs. Little is known about the defence mechanisms of the hosts, making some eggs more prone to infection than others. One clue might lie in the composition of the eggs. As the immune system in the embryos is not developed yet, the difference in infection levels could be explained by factors influenced by the mother herself, by either transferring passive immunity, influencing the physical aspects of the eggs or both. One of the physical aspects that could be influenced by the female is the chorion, the extracellular coat surrounding the fish egg, which is in fact the first major barrier to be overcome by Saprolegnia spp. Our results suggest that a thicker chorion in eggs from Atlantic salmon gives a better protection against Saprolegnia spp. In addition to the identification of differences in sensitivity of eggs in a fish farm set-up, we were able to confirm these results in a laboratory-controlled challenge experiment. © 2015 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.


Taksdal T.,Norwegian Veterinary Institute Oslo Norway | Bang Jensen B.,Norwegian Veterinary Institute Oslo Norway | Bockerman I.,Norwegian Veterinary Institute Oslo Norway | Mcloughlin M.F.,Fish Vet Group Inverness UK | And 3 more authors.
Journal of Fish Diseases | Year: 2015

Pancreas disease (PD) caused by salmonid alphavirus (SAV) has a significant negative economic impact in the salmonid fish farming industry in northern Europe. Until recently, only SAV subtype 3 was present in Norwegian fish farms. However, in 2011, a marine SAV 2 subtype was detected in a fish farm outside the PD-endemic zone. This subtype has spread rapidly among fish farms in mid-Norway. The PD mortality in several farms has been lower than expected, although high mortality has also been reported. In this situation, the industry and the authorities needed scientific-based information about the virulence of the marine SAV 2 strain in Norway to decide how to handle this new situation. Atlantic salmon post-smolts were experimentally infected with SAV 2 and SAV 3 strains from six different PD cases in Norway. SAV 3-infected fish showed higher mortality than SAV 2-infected fish. Among the SAV 3 isolates, two isolates gave higher mortality than the third one. At the end of the experiment, fish in all SAV-infected groups had significantly lower weight than the uninfected control fish. This is the first published paper on PD to document that waterborne infection produced significantly higher mortality than intraperitoneal injection. © 2014 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.


Gulla S.,Vaxxinova Norway AS Bergen Norway | Lund V.,Nofima Tromso Norway | Kristoffersen A.B.,Norwegian Veterinary Institute Oslo Norway | Sorum H.,Norwegian University of Life Sciences | Colquhoun D.J.,University of Bergen
Journal of Fish Diseases | Year: 2015

Sequence variation in a region of the virulence array protein gene (vapA; A-layer) was assessed in 333 ('typical' and 'atypical') isolates of the fish pathogenic bacterium Aeromonas salmonicida. Resulting similarity dendrograms revealed extensive heterogeneity, with nearly all isolates belonging to either of 14 distinct clusters or A-layer types. All acknowledged A. salmonicida subspecies (except ssp. pectinolytica, from which no vapA sequence could be obtained) were clearly separated, and notably, all isolates phenotypically identified as ssp. salmonicida formed a distinct and exclusive A-layer type. Additionally, an array of un-subspeciated atypical strains formed several equally prominent clusters, demonstrating that the concept of typical/atypical A. salmonicida is inappropriate for describing the high degree of diversity evidently occurring outside ssp. salmonicida. Most representatives assessed in this study were clinical isolates of spatiotemporally diverse origins, and were derived from a variety of hosts. We observed that from several fish species or families, isolates predominantly belonged to certain A-layer types, possibly indicating a need for host-/A-layer type-specific A. salmonicida vaccines. All in all, A-layer typing shows promise as an inexpensive and rapid means of unambiguously distinguishing clinically relevant A. salmonicida subspecies, as well as presently un-subspeciated atypical strains. © 2015 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.


Alarcon M.,Norwegian Veterinary Institute Harstad Norway | Thoen E.,Norwegian Veterinary Institute Oslo Norway | Poppe T.T.,Norwegian University of Life Sciences | Borno G.,Norwegian Veterinary Institute Harstad Norway | And 2 more authors.
Journal of Fish Diseases | Year: 2015

This study describes a co-infection of Kudoa islandica (Myxozoa) and Nucleospora cyclopteri (Microsporida) in farmed lumpfish, Cyclopterus lumpus L., in Norway. Several other parasites (Cryptocotyle sp., protozoan ciliates and Gyrodactylus sp.) were also found in gills. In June 2013, the mortality in a farmed lumpfish population increased to 65%. Lumpfish showed erratic swimming behaviour and loss of weight. At necropsy, nodules in the kidney were the only visible lesions. Histologically, all fish showed severe changes with gill inflammation and necrosis in the spleen, kidney and liver. Haemorrhages and necrosis were observed in some hearts. Intracellular microsporidians associated with the lesions were detected in most organs using histological examination and Calcofluor White. Kudoa spores were diagnosed in the skeletal muscle, but no inflammatory response was associated with the presence of the plasmodia. Comparison of 18S ribosomal DNA sequences showed 100% similarity to Kudoa islandica and Nucleospora cyclopteri. Kudoa islandica and N. cyclopteri have previously been described associated with lesions in wild lumpfish in Iceland. In the present case, N. cyclopteri is believed to be the main cause of systemic pathology. This is the first description of K. islandica and N. cyclopteri causing pathology in farmed lumpfish in Norway. © 2015 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.


Wiik-Nielsen J.,Norwegian Veterinary Institute Oslo Norway | Alarcon M.,Norwegian Veterinary Institute Oslo Norway | Jensen B.B.,Norwegian Veterinary Institute Oslo Norway | Haugland O.,Norwegian University of Life Sciences | Mikalsen A.B.,Norwegian University of Life Sciences
Journal of Fish Diseases | Year: 2016

Several different viruses have been associated with myocarditis-related diseases in the Atlantic salmon aquaculture industry. In this study, we investigated the presence of PMCV, SAV, PRV and the recently identified Atlantic salmon calicivirus (ASCV), alone and as co-infections in farmed Atlantic salmon displaying myocarditis. The analyses were performed at the individual level and comprised qPCR and histopathological examination of 397 salmon from 25 farms along the Norwegian coast. The samples were collected in 2009 and 2010, 5-22 months post-sea transfer. The study documented multiple causes of myocarditis and revealed co-infections including individual fish infected with all four viruses. There was an overall correlation between lesions characteristic of CMS and PD and the presence of PMCV and SAV, respectively. Although PRV was ubiquitously present, high viral loads were with a few exceptions, correlated with lesions characteristic of HSMI. ASCV did not seem to have any impact on myocardial infection by PMCV, SAV or PRV. qPCR indicated a negative correlation between PMCV and SAV viral loads. Co-infections result in mixed and atypical pathological changes which pose a challenge for disease diagnostic work. © 2016 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.


Jansen M.D.,Norwegian Veterinary Institute Oslo Norway | Bang Jensen B.,Norwegian Veterinary Institute Oslo Norway | Mcloughlin M.F.,Fish Vet Group Inverness | Rodger H.D.,Vet Aqua International Oranmore Ireland | And 4 more authors.
Journal of Fish Diseases | Year: 2016

Pancreas disease (PD) is a viral disease caused by Salmonid alphavirus (SAV) that affects farmed Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar L.) and rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss (Walbaum)) in the seawater phase. Since its first description in Scotland in 1976, a large number of studies have been conducted relating to the disease itself and to factors contributing to agent spread and disease occurrence. This paper summarizes the currently available, scientific information on the epidemiology of PD and its associated mitigation and control measures. Available literature shows infected farmed salmonids to be the main reservoir of SAV. Transmission between seawater sites occurs mainly passively by water currents or actively through human activity coupled with inadequate biosecurity measures. All available information suggests that the current fallowing procedures are adequate to prevent agent survival within the environment through the fallowing period and thus that a repeated disease outbreak at the same site is due to a new agent introduction. There has been no scientific evaluation of currently used on-site biosecurity measures, and there is limited information on the impact of available mitigation measures and control strategies. © 2016 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.


Thoen E.,Norwegian Veterinary Institute Oslo Norway | Skaar I.,Norwegian Veterinary Institute Oslo Norway
Journal of Fish Diseases | Year: 2015

A quantitative survey of Saprolegnia spp. in the water systems of Norwegian salmon hatcheries was performed. Water samples from 14 salmon hatcheries distributed along the Norwegian coastline were collected during final incubation in the hatcheries. Samples of inlet and effluent water were analyzed to estimate Saprolegnia propagule numbers. Saprolegnia spores were found in all samples at variable abundance. Number of spores retrieved varied from 50 to 3200 L-1 in inlet water and from 30 to >5000 L-1 in effluent water. A significant elevation of spore levels in effluent water compared to inlet water was detected. The estimated spore levels were related to recorded managerial and environmental parameters, and the number of spores in inlet water and temperature was the factor having most influence on the spore concentration in the incubation units (effluent water). Further, the relative impact of spore concentration on hatching rates was investigated by correlation analysis. From this was found that even high spore counts did not impact significantly on hatching success. © 2015 The Authors Journal of Fish Diseases Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

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