DAO 87:225-234 (2009)  -  DOI: https://doi.org/10.3354/dao02123

Experimental transmission of cardiomyopathy syndrome (CMS) in Atlantic salmon Salmo salar

C. Fritsvold1,*, R. T. Kongtorp1, T. Taksdal1, I. Ørpetveit1, M. Heum1, T. T. Poppe2

1National Veterinary Institute, PO Box 750 Sentrum, 0106 Oslo, Norway
2Norwegian School of Veterinary Science, PO Box 8146, 0033 Oslo, Norway

ABSTRACT: Cardiomyopathy syndrome (CMS) is a disease of unknown aetiology, having significant economic impact as it primarily affects large, farmed Atlantic salmon Salmo salar L. in seawater, close to harvest. In the present study, we have demonstrated that CMS is a transmissible disease under experimental conditions. Histopathological lesions consistent with CMS were induced in Atlantic salmon post-smolts after injection of tissue homogenate from farmed fish diagnosed with CMS. Six weeks post-injection (p.i.), experimental fish started developing focal to multi-focal lesions in the atrial endo- and myocardium, with subsequent progression to the ventricle. This proceeded into severe endocarditis and subsequent myocarditis with mononuclear cell infiltration of the atrium and, to a lesser degree, the spongy layer of the ventricle. These lesions were consistent with histopathological findings in field outbreaks of CMS. From Week 33 p.i., lesions also appeared in the compact myocardium, with focal epicarditis adjacent to focal myocardial lesions. In conclusion, these results indicate that CMS has an infectious aetiology and should be treated as a potentially contagious disease.


KEY WORDS: Atlantic salmon · Salmo salar · Cardiomyopathy syndrome · CMS · Experimental transmission · Myocarditis · Pathology · Cardiomyopathy · Transmission


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Cite this article as: Fritsvold C, Kongtorp RT, Taksdal T, Ørpetveit I, Heum M, Poppe TT (2009) Experimental transmission of cardiomyopathy syndrome (CMS) in Atlantic salmon Salmo salar. Dis Aquat Org 87:225-234. https://doi.org/10.3354/dao02123

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