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Norwegian Veterinary Institute Leads Research into Cardiomyopathy Syndrome

25 January 2016, at 12:00am

NORWAY - Cardiomyopathy syndrome (CMS) is a disease which kills young farmed salmon and is a growing problem in the aquaculture industry.

The Norwegian Veterinary Institute is now leading a new project in collaboration with the industry to investigate the diversification, risk factors and progression of the disease and the link between Piscine myocarditis virus (PMCV) and CMS.

The Fishery and Aquaculture Industry Research Fund (FHF) is financing the three year research initiative, which will run until December 2018.

"The research fund has made a substantial commitment to CMS for several years, but this has unfortunately not given us enough knowledge to limit this disease effectively," says Merete Bjørgan Schroder, Head of FHF.

"However, the effort has given us a knowledge base that enables us should initiate a major effort to solve the problem. We now have a good basis to assume that the virus called PMCV is causing the illness CMS, it looks as if there is a clear correlation between proven virus and disease. This is such a promising track that's where we need to direct efforts," she says.

Project manager, Britt Bang Jensen says that previous studies suggest that water-borne infection from fish to fish is the main road for CMS infection, ie horizontal transmission. However, mapping shows that this may not be the only source of infection.

"In this project we will therefore see whether the virus can also be transmitted from parent fish," she explains.

"At the same time there is a need for more knowledge about infectious secretion, transmission and virus survival in addition to knowledge of how the disease progresses and what other factors are of importance for the outbreak to occur. Therefore, we now started to chart the course of the viral infection PMCV in seawater to identify the factors that give risk of infection with PMCV and for the development of clinical CMS."

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