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Examining co-infections in salmon



In aquaculture of salmonids (salmon, trout, and charr), fish may become infected with several pathogens, such as sea lice, bacteria, and viruses, at the same time and may become diseased. The consequences of these co-infections are largely unknown as some combinations of pathogens can make the resulting disease more severe (synergistic) than the results an individual pathogen, while others appear to have little impact because the presence of one pathogen may deter the other (antagonistic). Co-infections can alter: the susceptibility of the host (the fish), the interactions between the host and the pathogens, the resistance of the host, and the kinetics of the infection (its behaviour in the host cells and body). These factors ultimately determine the effect of the mixture of pathogens.

This project aims to better understand the mechanisms that control co-infections in salmon, and the consequences of these infections. The project examines two viral agents – piscine orthoreovirus (PRV) and a newly identified hepevirus – which have been shown to naturally co-infect Atlantic salmon and Chinook salmon. The project will evaluate the consequence of these agents during infections with only a single virus, co-infection with the two viruses, and co-infection with one virus and a non-viral pathogen such as Piscirickettsia salmonis

Program Name

Program for Aquaculture Regulatory Research (PARR)



Principal Investigator(s)

Kyle Garver

Research Scientist, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Pacific Biological Station


Team Member(s)

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