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Diseases of Aquatic Organisms

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DAO 48:57-74 (2001)  -  doi:10.3354/dao048057

Diseases, prophylaxis and treatment of the Atlantic halibut Hippoglossus hippoglossus: a review

Øivind Bergh*, Frank Nilsen, Ole B. Samuelsen

Institute of Marine Research, Department of Aquaculture, PO Box 1870 Nordnes, 5817 Bergen, Norway

ABSTRACT: After substantial investments in research, the Atlantic halibut Hippoglossus hippoglossus is now being cultivated commercially in Norway, Iceland, Scotland and Canada. As with other domesticated species, disease problems have been experienced. This review summarizes the current state of knowledge of diseases of the Atlantic halibut, and their diagnosis, prophylaxis and treatment. In economic terms, the most important losses have been suffered at the larval and juvenile stages. The most important infections are caused by nodaviruses, causative agents of Viral Encephalopathy and Retinopathy (VER), which are the major reason why Norway¹s production of halibut fry has been level since 1995. An aquatic birnavirus, Infectious Pancreatic Necrosis Virus, is also an important agent of mortality. Vibrio anguillarum, Flexibacter ovolyticus and atypical Aeromonas salmonicida are the major bacterial pathogens. The protozoan parasites recorded include Ichthyobodo sp., the microsporidium Enterocytozoon sp., Trichodina hippoglossi, and the metazoan pathogens include myxozoans, helminths, Entobdella hippoglossi, Lepeophtheirus hippoglossi and other parasitic copepods. Experimental vaccines have been tested against V. anguillarum and atypical A. salmonicida, with good results. A recombinant vaccine against nodaviruses is under development. A few trials have been carried out on non-specific immunostimulants, but no such treatment is currently available. A number of efficacy and pharmacokinetic trials with various antibacterial agents have also been published.

KEY WORDS: Atlantic halibut · Diseases · Prophylaxis · Treatment

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