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Infectious salmon anaemia virus

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Infectious salmon anaemia virus (ISAV) is a commercially important orthomyxovirus causing disease in farmed Atlantic salmon. The cumulative mortality in a net pen during an outbreak may vary from insignificant to more than 90%. The infection is spread by management activity such as well-boat traffic, but possibly also through contact with wild fish. In many of its aspects, including the structure of the virus particle and replication strategy, the ISAV is similar to the influenza viruses. Variations between ISAV and the influenza viruses can mostly be related to differences in the temperature at which replication occurs and the immune response of their respective host animals. ISAV shows both haemagglutinating and receptor-destroying activity. The variability of the ISAV haemagglutinin molecule is concentrated around a small domain close to the transmembrane region. The function of this variable region is unknown, but it may be related to a recent or ongoing crossing of a species barrier. Alignment studies based on genetic data indicate that the phylogenetic relationship to the influenza viruses is distant, and that ISAV therefore could possibly warrant a new genus within Orthomyxoviridae.
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Keywords: Infectious salmon anaemia virus; haemagglutinin; orthomyxovirus

Document Type: Review Article

Affiliations: Norwegian School of Veterinary Science, Department of Pharmacology, Microbiology and Food Hygiene, Oslo, Norway

Publication date: April 1, 2002

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