New paper: Norwegian virus devastating to farmed salmon spreads to Canada and Chile

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The press release Norwegian virus devastating to farmed salmon spreads to Canada and Chile announces that “The first scientific publication on the occurrence of piscine reovirus outside of Norway was published on July 11 in Virology Journal. The report, Whole-genome analysis of piscine reovirus (PRV) shows PRV represents a new genus in family Reoviridae and its genome segment S1 sequences group it into two separate sub-genotypes, was co-published by researchers from the Atlantic Veterinary College at the University of Prince Edward Island, Centro de Investigaciones Biológicas Aplicadas in Chile, and the Raincoast Research Society in British Columbia.”

The release continues, “Piscine reovirus (PRV) was identified in 2010 as the causative agent of heart and skeletal muscle inflammation (HSMI) in Norway. This disease, first recognized in Atlantic salmon farms in Norway in 1999, is a condition that weakens salmon, making it difficult for their hearts to pump blood. HSMI is spreading rapidly in Norway. Marine Harvest, who grows one-fifth of the world’s farm-raised salmon, lists HSMI as the second largest cause of death of their fish in their 2012 Annual General Report.”

“In this paper, the co-authors show that piscine reovirus is in British Columbia and it came from Norway. The process of tracing viruses is similar to matching fingerprints. Scientists around the world enter viral sequence data into GenBank so matches can be run. The piscine reovirus found in British Columbia is most similar to a Norwegian PRV sequence from Atlantic farmed salmon suffering from HSMI in the Lofoten Archipelago in northern Norway. The paper also reports PRV is now in Chile and it most closely matched a Norwegian PRV sequence from the Trondheim region.”

The electronic version of this article can be found online at: www.virologyj.com/content/10/1/230

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