Project: Identification of virulence markers in two loss-making Novirhabovirus is the key to improve diagnostic and strategic management in farmed rainbow trout

Summary of NOVIMARK This proposal fits in Topic 1 "Disease control and surveillance" under the subtopic ?Active surveillance?. The NOVIMARK project aims at: 1) The identification of virulence markers and traits of the serious fish pathogens VHSV and IHNV 2) The development of fast and reliable diagnostic methods for discrimination between virulent and non-virulent virus isolates. The choice of VHSV and IHNV is based on: ? Both viruses are major pathogens causing notifiable diseases to the OIE and represent serious threats for fish farmers in Europe and thus efficient diagnostic tools are required. ? A large range of fish species from fresh and sea water are susceptible to VHSV and IHNV infection? Numerous field isolates have so far been collected and a limited number of them have been fully characterized and on these bases there are indications that specific genomic sequences are involved in pathogenicity. ? For both viruses, reverse genetics systems are available allowing easy and fast genome manipulation and recombinant virus production. ? Experimental infection model for both viruses, have been established in rainbow trout in several partner?s labs and tools to study pathogenesis and immune responses are available IHNV and VHSV are endemic among marine fish species which represent an immense reservoir, but have established themselves in freshwater where cultured salmonid frequently are highly affected. To continue and expand the production of salmonids in marine and fresh waters, tools for differentiation between virulent and non-virulent strains of the viruses are needed. The aims will be addressed by characterizing genetically highly virulent, low virulent and non-virulent field virus isolates, mapping putative virulence marker on the virus genome and confirming these potential markers by developing modified recombinant viruses. Based on these results, fast and reliable molecular tools allowing diagnostic differentiation between virulent and non-virulent virus isolates will be developed and validated.

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Project partner

Number Name Role Country
Agency for Food, Environmental and Occupational Health & Safety Partner France
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs - Centre for Environment Fisheries and Aquaculture Sciences Partner United Kingdom
French National Institute for Agricultural Research Coordinator France
Istituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale della Venezie Partner Italy
Technical University of Denmark Partner Denmark
University of Santiago de Compostela Partner Spain