Improvement of methods to detect pathogens in water samples, infectious salmon anemia virus (ISAV) as a model
Infectious salmon anemia virus (ISAV) is regularly monitored in farmed salmon in Atlantic Canada, as well as in hatcheries. In hatchery-raised fish, infections are usually with the non-pathogenic form of the virus (HPR0) and affect only the fish’s gills. However, ISAV HPR0 is believed to lead to the virulent pathogenic form (HPRΔ) through mutations. Thus, preventing the introduction of all forms of ISAV on sea farms should reduce the overall prevalence of virulent forms of ISAV and outbreaks in the Atlantic Canada salmon farming industry.
Removing the sources of the virus requires applying rigorous biosecurity (procedures to protect against disease) and containment in hatcheries, as well as identifying the points of origin of the pathogen. To accomplish these goals, sensitive, fast, and accurate detection methods are required to track the virus and to determine the effectiveness of efforts to remove the virus and disinfect the hatchery.
This project aims to test various approaches and improve detection methods of ISAV in hatchery water samples. The project will determine physical areas and operational procedures that are at risk of introducing ISAV into the fish hatcheries and will monitor the effectiveness of disinfection efforts. Using hatchery water and swab samples, this project aims to help us understand how and when ISAV infects fish in hatcheries. This knowledge would allow us to develop new management practices to keep hatcheries free of the virus, to detect sources of virus entry, and to prevent the introduction of the virus into the hatchery.
The project also aims to help understand why ISAV HPR0 persists in some hatcheries, to determine whether measures are sufficient to fully control the introduction of ISAV into hatcheries, and to validate and improve a detection method used with other common fish viruses.
Nellie Gagné, Research Scientist, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Gulf Fisheries Centre, Gulf Region
Delphine Ditlecadet, Research Biologist, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Gulf Fisheries Centre, Gulf Region
Francis LeBlanc, Research Biologist, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Gulf Fisheries Centre, Gulf Region
Annie-Pier Beauregard, Technician, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Gulf Fisheries Centre, Gulf Region
Royce Steeves, Research Scientist, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Gulf Fisheries Centre, Gulf Region
Geneviève Parent, Research Scientist, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Maurice Lamontagne Institute, Quebec Region
Izhar Khan, Research Scientist, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
Andrew Swanson, Vice-President of Research and Development, Kelly Cove Salmon Ltd.
Videos of Nellie Gagné
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