Diagnosis of SAV infections has traditionally been based upon clinical observations together with a set of histopathological findings in exocrine pancreas, heart and skeletal muscle, but recently, real-time RT-PCR assays have been developed as a supplement for the detection of SAV. The aim of this study was to determine tissue tropism of SAV1 and SAV3 in Atlantic salmon Salmo salar L. in order to identify the most suitable tissues for real-time RT-PCR diagnostic assays. The results indicated that the pseudobranch and the heart (ventricle) are the most useful tissues for such assays, regardless of disease status. The pyloric caecae with associated pancreatic tissue is unsuitable for diagnosis using this method. The use of real-time RT-PCR enabled viral RNA detection at all stages of the disease, including in surviving fish six months after infection. Considering the short production cycle of farmed salmonids, this suggests that surviving Atlantic salmon may become life-long asymptomatic carriers of SAV after an infection.
Archives of Virology – Springer Journals
Published: Oct 1, 2007
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