New Pancreatic Disease variant in Norwegian salmon

2011-Dec-07 to 2013-Nov-05

The following are excerpts taken from articles below in Related Reports:

According to Merck (, Pancreas Disease (PD) is an important economic disease of European farmed Atlantic salmon. It can cause significant losses due to morbidity, mortality and reduced production. Chronic PD has also been known as sudden death syndrome (SDS). The causative agent was only isolated in 1995 and was shown to be an alphavirus, now known as Salmon Pancreas Disease Virus (SPDV). Recent studies have indicated that it is very similar to Sleeping disease virus of rainbow trout. PD has been described in Scotland, Norway, Ireland, France and the west coast of the USA in farmed Atlantic salmon. Due to the difficulty of isolating SPDV from natural outbreaks of PD and the widespread distribution of Infectious Pancreatic Necrosis virus (IPNV), which can mask the SPDV and the disease in farmed salmon, PD is significantly under diagnosed in the field. Transmission is primarily due to direct fish-to-fish contact, but the involvement of other marine reservoirs such as molluscs, crustaceans and wild fish, or vectors such as sea lice, cannot be ruled out.

Pancreas Disease has cost Norwegian, Scottish and Irish aquaculture industry hundreds of millions in the past few years and the industry is looking to grow resistant fish population.

Norway has battled PD for four years, and now on top of this there is a new virus variant. Outbreaks of PD are commonly caused by virus variant SAV 3. However, some recent outbreaks north of Hustadvika in central and North Norway are caused by a new virus variant, called SAV 2. It appears that SAV 2 is a milder variant of the viral disease.

In order to fight PD, the country is divided into two zones. In the Southern zone the aim is to limit damage from the disease, and in the Northern zone eradication is targeted. Hustadvika is seen as the barrier between the North and South. Ms Landsverk said she believed that the fight in the North against PD has been successful. PD with infection by virus variant SAV 3 has not been found north of Hustadvika after 2009. However, now is the time to evaluate whether the current strategy is working, or whether we need to make some changes," said Kristina Landsverk, Director of the Food and Safety Authority. The Norwegian Seafood Federation (FHL) has asked the Ministry of Fisheries and Food Safety Authority (FSA) for changes in the fight against PD north of Hustadvika.