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Diseases of Aquatic Organisms

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DAO 74:1-6 (2007)  -  doi:10.3354/dao074001

Fate of infectious salmon anaemia virus (ISAV) in experimentally challenged blue mussels Mytilus edulis

Cecilie K. Skår, Stein Mortensen*

Institute of Marine Research, PO Box 1870, Nordnes, 5817 Bergen, Norway
*Corresponding author. Email:

ABSTRACT: In order to investigate the potential role of blue mussels Mytilus edulis as a vector of the fish pathogenic infectious salmon anaemia virus (ISAV), we developed an experimental bioaccumulation system in which mussels can accumulate virus during normal filtration. Detection of virus in mussels was performed by means of real-time RT-PCR. ISAV-RNA was detected in the mussels until 72 h post-challenge. Hepatopancreas homogenate from experimentally challenged mussels was injected into salmon. All the fish injected with homogenate prepared immediately after accumulations were strongly ISAV positive 4 wk post-challenge. In the group injected with homogenate prepared 24 h after the challenge, 1 fish out of 25 was weakly ISAV positive. All of the fish that were challenged with mussel homogenate prepared 96 h after accumulation were ISAV negative. Mussels sampled from a tank with experimentally infected salmon demonstrating clinical signs consistent with ISA (infectious salmon anaemia) and mussels collected on net pen cages during ISA outbreaks in Atlantic salmon were all ISAV negative. The results indicate that the ISAV is rapidly inactivated in mussels and that mussels are not a likely reservoir host or vector for ISAV.

KEY WORDS: Mussels · Mytilus edulis · Atlantic salmon · Salmo salar · Infectious salmon anaemia virus · ISAV · Uptake · Inactivation · Vectors

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