Pancreas disease is an emerging viral disease that affects farmed rainbow trout and Atlantic salmon in sea water. In regions where the disease is endemic, the economic impact is significant. An expansion of affected areas and a few outbreaks at previously un-affected sites show the potential for the disease to cause more serious problems in future. More efficient disease mitigation and prevention is highly needed, and the main aim of the project is to provide requested knowledge as a basis for more effici ent disease mitigation in affected areas and prevention of spread to areas yet unaffected of the disease. This will be important for the industry, as well as for the authorities for their decision making.
The ?skeleton? of the study will be an epidemiol ogical cohort study of risk factors through which samples will be collected and examined by histopathology, serology, RT-PCR and virus isolation. In some of the farms included in the study, extended examinations will be done in order to examine the dynami cs of the spread between different cages in affected farms and to describe the host reaction in terms of pathology and antibody response through the whole production cycle in sea water. Different variants of the causative virus, salmonid alphavirus (SAV) will be characterised as a basis for molecular epidemiology and as a platform for future vaccine development.
This project is the Norwegian part of a tri-nation project-cooperation between Norway, Ireland and Scotland Results from the national studies w ill be compared, thus giving a broader basis for generating new knowledge.