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Diseases of Aquatic Organisms

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DAO 135:201-209 (2019)  -  DOI: https://doi.org/10.3354/dao03398

Low susceptibility of sockeye salmon Oncorhynchus nerka to viral hemorrhagic septicemia virus genotype IVa

Lynden Gross1, Jon Richard1, Paul Hershberger2, Kyle Garver1,*

1Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Pacific Biological Station, Nanaimo, BC V9T 6N7, Canada
2US Geological Survey, Western Fisheries Research Center, Marrowstone Marine Field Station, Nordland, WA 98358, USA
*Corresponding author:

ABSTRACT: Viral hemorrhagic septicemia virus (VHSV) genotype IVa is an endemic pathogen to the marine waters of British Columbia, with numerous marine fishes being susceptible to infection and disease, including Atlantic salmon Salmo salar reared in open net-pen aquaculture. The susceptibility of Atlantic salmon and sockeye salmon Oncorhynchus nerka to VHSV-IVa infection was evaluated using exposure routes including injection, static immersion, and cohabitation with diseased Pacific herring Clupea pallasii. Exposed fish were monitored for mortality and external pathology, mortalities were tested by virus isolation assay, and live fish were regularly sampled and screened for infection. Among injected sockeye, VHSV was detected in 1 mortality (n = 195) and 2 sub-sampled fish (n = 30), whereas sockeye exposed by immersion and cohabitation did not experience mortality nor was systemic infection indicated by tissue screening. Injection and cohabitation exposure routes confirmed the susceptibility of Atlantic salmon to VHSV. Neither sockeye nor Atlantic salmon surviving the cohabitation served as a reservoir of VHSV, but Pacific herring did. The results suggest that VHSV-IVa poses low risk to sockeye salmon under natural routes of exposure.


KEY WORDS: Viral hemorrhagic septicemia virus · VHSV · Sockeye salmon · Susceptibility


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Cite this article as: Gross L, Richard J, Hershberger P, Garver K (2019) Low susceptibility of sockeye salmon Oncorhynchus nerka to viral hemorrhagic septicemia virus genotype IVa. Dis Aquat Org 135:201-209. https://doi.org/10.3354/dao03398

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