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Archived – Identification of ISAV-resistant salmon broodstock families

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Please note: This project summary is only available in the inline text version of 2009 Canadian Aquaculture R&D Review and was not included in the original publication or the online PDF version.

Quarantine lab and tanks for challenge of salmon families with ISA (Photo: DFO)

Quarantine lab and tanks for challenge of salmon families with ISA (Photo: DFO)

It is now well established that many distinct Infectious salmon anaemia virus (ISAV) isolates exist in the Bay of Fundy. These isolates vary in their virulence and disease progression, but due to strict fish health management practices resulting in rapid depopulation, the true virulence and risk to the industry of the different isolates is not known.

In an attempt to better understand and characterize the virulence of ISAV isolates in the Bay of Fundy, several groups have performed in vivo challenges with different ISAV isolates. This work has corroborated many of the anecdotal field reports of varying virulence for the different isolates, and has shed some light on the dynamics of ISAV infection in vivo. It has also supported field observations that some fish become infected with ISAV (and test positive with routine diagnostics) but do not succumb to disease. This finding, once further characterized, may lead to identification of families of fish which are ISAV resistant, and can withstand the effects of ISAV infection in the field. Working closely with the industry, this study will provide information on the genetic susceptibility of different families to ISAV and will further our understanding of the virulence of different ISAV isolates. The ultimate goal of this project is to compare the response of different family groups to ISAV isolates of differing virulence, and compare the utility of diagnostic techniques to detect the different ISAV variants in clinical and sub-clinical fish.

Duration: Jan ‘08 – Oct ‘08
Funded by: DFO-ACRDP
Project team: Brian Glebe (DFO)
For information contact: Brian Glebe (

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