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Experimental study of the susceptibility of Atlantic cod, Gadus morhua (L.), to infection with an IPNV strain pathogenic for Atlantic salmon, Salmo salar L

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Intraperitoneal (IP) injection, cohabitation and immersion routes of infection were used to determine if Atlantic cod, Gadus morhua (L.), of 1 and 3 g are susceptible to infectious pancreatic necrosis (IPN). Mortalities of cod injected IP were significantly higher when challenged with infectious pancreatic necrosis virus (IPNV) than with phosphate buffered saline. This is the first report of Atlantic cod mortalities caused by IPNV. Fish challenged by cohabitation had significantly higher mortalities than the controls, but mortalities of Atlantic cod challenged with IPNV by immersion were not significantly different from controls. Titres of IPNV in the tissues of infected fish were sometimes very high (range 102–1010 infectious units per gram of tissue) suggesting virus replication and titres of fish that died were generally higher than those of fish which survived. However, the relatively low mortality rates when challenged by cohabitation and immersion (20% and 17%, respectively), compared to the IP injection challenge (100%) suggest that 1 and 3 g cod have low susceptibility to IPN when challenged by more natural routes. These data strongly suggest that the cause of death of experimentally challenged cod was IPNV and further histological evidence for this came from 1 g cod challenged IP with IPNV in which the pancreas showed severe necrosis and heavy immunostaining for IPNV coincidentally with the peak of mortalities.
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Keywords: Atlantic cod; challenge; infectious pancreatic necrosis virus; mortalities; titre

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1:  FRS Marine Laboratory, Aberdeen, UK 2:  School of Biological Sciences, University of Aberdeen, Aberdeen, UK 3:  Facultad de Veterinaria, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Madrid, Spain

Publication date: 2009-05-01

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