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Investigation of piscine reovirus (PRV) in the development of disease



Piscine reovirus is a double stranded RNA virus that is a member of the family Reoviridae. The virus has been found in association with Heart and Skeletal Muscle Inflammation (HSMI), an emerging disease in Norwegian-farmed Atlantic salmon. In Norway, this association has been strengthened by subsequent viral challenge studies and viral screenings from HSMI outbreaks that confirm PRV detection during HSMI events. Nevertheless, an association to the disease condition does not definitely imply causation. In particular, the PRV-HSMI connection has been further complicated by the fact that the virus has been detected in diseased fish as well as in apparently healthy individuals without signs of HSMI. Additionally, laboratory studies in British Columbia using PRV from farmed Atlantic salmon demonstrated no HSMI despite significant PRV infections. The pathogenic versus non-pathogenic outcomes associated with PRV infection is puzzling and suggests many factors are needed to cause disease outbreaks. By comparing equivalent PRV exposure studies in Norway and Canada, this project aims to determine what triggers are required for the development of HSMI in Atlantic salmon.





Program Name

Program for Aquaculture Regulatory Research (PARR)



Principal investigator

Kyle Garver
Research scientist, Pacific Biological Station, Nanaimo, BC

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