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Screening of cultured Atlantic Salmon for resistance and susceptibility to infection by sea lice (Lepeoptheirus salmonis) and Renibacterium salmoninarum, the causative agent of Bacterial Kidney Disease (BKD)



While vaccination is one approach to impart disease resistance, there is significant variation among Atlantic Salmon in terms of vaccine responsiveness. It is imperative to assess the genetic stocks of salmon for their robustness against disease.

This research project will test family crosses of farmed salmon for disease resistance to Lepeoptheirus salmonis (sea lice) and Renibacterium salmoninarum (the causative agent of Bacterial Kidney Disease, BKD). Testing of more than one disease agent (in this case, sea lice and the causative agent of BKD) will help assess what resistance to one agent type may mean for resistance to another common agent. Results from this project will contribute to research that will aid in broodstock selection, enhancing resistance of farmed fish to both sea lice and BKD infections, with the on-going goal of reducing farmed fish losses and improving the sustainability of the Canadian aquaculture industry.

Program Name

Aquaculture Collaborative Research and Development Program (ACRDP)


2015 - 2018

Principal Investigator(s)

Steven Leadbeater
Aquatic Science Technician, Fisheries and Oceans Canada
St. Andrews Biological Station, Maritimes Region

Team Member(s)

Keng Pee Ang, Kelly Cove Salmon Ltd. (Cooke Aquaculture Inc.)

J.A.K. (Jake) Elliott, Cooke Aquaculture Inc.

Frank Powell, Cooke Aquaculture Inc.

Anthony J. Manning, Research and Productivity Council

Collaborative Partner(s)

Keng Pee Ang, Kelly Cove Salmon Ltd. (Cooke Aquaculture Inc.)

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