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Kaur K.,Sea Lice Research Center | Jansen P.A.,Norwegian Veterinary Institute | Aspehaug V.T.,PatoGen Analyse AS | Horsberg T.E.,Sea Lice Research Center

Organophosphates (OP) are one of the major treatments used against the salmon louse (Lepeophtherius salmonis) in Norwegian salmonid aquaculture. The use of OP since the late 1970s has resulted in widespread resistant parasites. Recently, we reported a single mutation (Phe362Tyr) in acetylcholinesterase (AChE) as the major mechanism behind resistance in salmon louse towards OP. The present study was carried out to validate this mechanism at the field level. A total of 6658 salmon louse samples were enrolled from 56 different fish farms across the Norwegian coast, from Vest Agder in the south to Finnmark in the north. All the samples were genotyped using a TaqMan probe assay for the Phe362Tyr mutation. A strong association was observed between areas with frequent use of the OP (azamethiphos) and the Phe362Tyr mutation. This was confirmed at 15 sites where results from independently conducted bioassays and genotyping of parasites correlated well. Furthermore, genotyping of surviving and moribund parasites from six bioassay experiments demonstrated a highly significant negative correlation between the frequency of resistance alleles and the probability of dying when exposed to azamethiphos in a bioassay. Based on these observations, we could strongly conclude that the Phe362Tyr mutation is a major factor responsible for OP resistance in salmon louse on Norwegian fish farms. © 2016 Kaur et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited. Source

Jansen P.A.,Norwegian Veterinary Institute | Jansen P.A.,University of Bergen | Grontvedt R.N.,Norwegian Veterinary Institute | Tarpai A.,Norwegian Veterinary Institute | And 2 more authors.

The evolution of drug resistant parasitic sea lice is of major concern to the salmon farming industry worldwide and challenges sustainable growth of this enterprise. To assess current status and development of L. salmonis sensitivity towards different pesticides used for parasite control in Norwegian salmon farming, a national surveillance programme was implemented in 2013. The programme aims to summarize data on the use of different pesticides applied to control L. salmonis and to test L. salmonis sensitivity to different pesticides in farms along the Norwegian coast. Here we analyse two years of test-data from biological assays designed to detect sensitivity-levels towards the pesticides azamethiphos and delta methrin, both among the most common pesticides used in bath-treatments of farmed salmon in Norway in later years. The focus of the analysis is on how different variables predict the binomial outcome of the bioassay tests, being whether L. salmonis are immobilized/die or survive pesticide exposure. We found that local kernel densities of bath treatments, along with a spatial geographic index of test-farm locations, were significant predictors of the binomial outcome of the tests. Furthermore, the probability of L. salmonis being immobilized/dead after test-exposure was reduced by odds-ratios of 0.60 (95% CI: 0.42-0.86) for 2014 compared to 2013 and 0.39 (95% CI: 0.36-0.42) for low concentration compared to high concentration exposure. There were also significant but more marginal effects of parasite gender and developmental stage, and a relatively large random effect of test-farm. We conclude that the present data support an association between local intensities of bath treatments along the coast and the outcome of bioassay tests where salmon lice are exposed to azamethiphos ordeltamethrin. Furthermore, there is a predictable structure of L. salmonis phenotypes along the coast in the data, characterized by high susceptibility to pesticides in the far north and far south, but low susceptibility in mid Norway. The study emphasizes the need to address local susceptibility to pesticides and the need for restrictive use of pesticides to preserve treatment efficacy. © 2016 Jansen et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited. Source

Kaur K.,Sea Lice Research Center | Bakke M.J.,Sea Lice Research Center | Nilsen F.,University of Bergen | Horsberg T.E.,Sea Lice Research Center

Acetylcholinesterase (AChE) is an important enzyme in cholinergic synapses. Most arthropods have two genes (ace1 and ace2), but only one encodes the predominant synaptic AChE, the main target for organophosphates. Resistance towards organophosphates is widespread in the marine arthropod Lepeophtheirus salmonis. To understand this trait, it is essential to characterize the gene(s) coding for AChE(s). The full length cDNA sequences encoding two AChEs in L. salmonis were molecularly characterized in this study. The two ace genes were highly similar (83.5% similarity at protein level). Alignment to the L. salmonis genome revealed that both genes were located close to each other (separated by just 26.4 kbp on the L. salmonis genome), resulting from a recent gene duplication. Both proteins had all the typical features of functional AChE and clustered together with AChE-type 1 proteins in other species, an observation that has not been described in other arthropods. We therefore concluded the presence of two versions of ace1 gene in L. salmonis, named ace1a and ace1b. Ace1a was predominantly expressed in different developmental stages compared to ace1b and was possibly active in the cephalothorax, indicating that ace1a is more likely to play the major role in cholinergic synaptic transmission. The study is essential to understand the role of AChEs in resistance against organophosphates in L. salmonis. © 2015 Kaur et al. Source

Kaur K.,Sea Lice Research Center | Helgesen K.O.,Sea Lice Research Center | Bakke M.J.,Sea Lice Research Center | Horsberg T.E.,Sea Lice Research Center

Acetylcholinesterase (AChE) is the primary target for organophosphates (OP). Several mutations have been reported in AChE to be associated with the reduced sensitivity against OP in various arthropods. However, to the best of our knowledge, no such reports are available for Lepeophtheirus salmonis. Hence, in the present study, we aimed to determine the association of AChE(s) gene(s) with resistance against OP. We screened the AChE genes (L. salmonis ace1a and ace1b) in two salmon lice populations: one sensitive (n=5) and the other resistant (n=5) for azamethiphos, a commonly used OP in salmon farming. The screening led to the identification of a missense mutation Phe362Tyr in L. salmonis ace1a, (corresponding to Phe331 in Torpedo californica AChE) in all the samples of the resistant population. We confirmed the potential role of the mutation, with reduced sensitivity against azamethiphos in L. salmonis, by screening for Phe362Tyr in 2 sensitive and 5 resistant strains. The significantly higher frequency of the mutant allele (362Tyr) in the resistant strains clearly indicated the possible association of Phe362Tyrmutation in L. salmonis ace1a with resistance towards azamethiphos. The 3D modelling, short term survival experiments and enzymatic assays further supported the imperative role of Phe362Tyrin reduced sensitivity of L. salmonis for azamethiphos. Based on all these observations, the present study, for the first time, presents the mechanism of resistance in L. salmonisagainst azamethiphos. In addition, we developed a rapid diagnostic tool for the high throughput screening of Phe362Tyr mutation using High Resolution Melt analysis. © 2015 Kaur et al. Source

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