Identification of a new deadly strain of IPN virus affecting resistant fish

At Benchmark Genetics we provide the best genetics available at the start of the production cycle to ensure robust, fast-growing, and disease-resistant salmon.

Infectious pancreatic necrosis (IPN) is one of the most important viral diseases of farmed Atlantic salmon. Outbreaks due to this disease can result in significant economic losses and negatively impact animal welfare. However, breeding for genetically IPN resistant fish has been one of the most successful stories in the history of fish breeding. It has been shown that fish with specific genetic variations in a single gene can be highly resistant to this virus. Breeding efforts to increase the frequency of these genetic variations have resulted in a substantial reduction in the number of IPN outbreaks. In this work, we present the identification of a new IPN isolate that can cause mortality even in genetically resistant fish. By sequencing the whole genome of this virus, we describe unique mutations in this isolate. We suggest that these genetic variations might be vital in helping the virus escape the host immune system more efficiently. We also highlight the importance of analysing the genomic details of both the host and the pathogen while investigating the genetic basis of virulence and disease resistance.

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