[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Three species of viral-derived RNA (vRNA, cRNA and mRNA) are produced during an infectious salmon anaemia virus (ISAV) infection. Conventional real-time RT-PCR (RT-qPCR) targeting ISAV segment 8 provides a very sensitive method for the detection of ISAV RNA, however it does not differentiate between these three individual RNA species. In this study, strand-specific tagged primers have been utilised in the RT reaction to specifically produce cDNA corresponding to each of the 3 viral RNA types produced from ISAV segment 8 for the subsequent detection by real-time PCR. The RNA species-specific assay was successfully used to specifically distinguish synthetic T7-produced RNA transcripts representing the 3 species of ISAV RNA at levels up to approximately 10(5)-fold higher than the other types. In addition, the method was applied to investigate the production of segment 8 RNA in time-course tissue culture experiments performed at optimal (15°C), sub-optimal (20°C) and inadequate (25°C) temperatures for replication or in the presence of a chemical inhibitor to vary the RNA populations and investigate its effectiveness. Variation in RNA production was observed between the optimal and sub-optimal temperatures and in the presence of the chemical inhibitor. Production of all RNA species was completely inhibited at 25°C indicating the potential usefulness of the assay as a tool in the understanding of ISAV replication and transcription dynamics.
Journal of virological methods 09/2012; · 2.13 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The putatively avirulent infectious salmon anaemia virus (ISAV) HPR0 variant has key phenotypic differences to isolates from disease outbreaks in Atlantic salmon farms. It appears to not cause disease, potentially displays a different tissue tropism and has yet to be isolated in conventional ISAV-permissive cell lines. This study focussed on identifying the biological basis for the observed differences by examining the properties of the haemagglutinin-esterase (HE) proteins derived from NWM10 (HPR0), Nevis 390/98 (HPR7 pathogenic strain) and mutant combinations of the two. Using a transfection-based system and haemadsorption analysis in salmon cell lines, this study demonstrated for the first time that an HPR0 HE was fully functional in terms of receptor-binding and -destroying activity and also suggested that the presence of a full-length HPR alone did not appear to affect these functions.
Archives of Virology 09/2011; 156(12):2285-9. · 2.03 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Isolates of viral haemorrhagic septicaemia virus (VHSV) were identified which are genetically similar yet, based on their isolation history were considered likely to differ in virulence in juvenile rainbow trout. An experimental infection study was performed in order to verify this hypothesis and provide an experimental infectivity model with which to investigate the basis for susceptibility of rainbow trout to this commercially important virus. Significant differences in mortality were obtained following both intraperitoneal (IP) injection and immersion challenges with an early marine (DK-M.Rhabdo) and early rainbow trout VHSV isolate (DK-F1) respectively. Expression of Type I IFN, Mx1 (an IFN-inducible protein), and viral genes (encoding nucleo-, phospho-, matrix, glyco- and non-viron proteins) was studied in sequential tissue samples using real-time quantitative PCR (QPCR). Resulting data revealed a significant increase in IFN and Mx1 expression detected in fish challenged by IP injection with both isolates. Expression levels of these genes were directly related to the degree of viral replication as measured by the expression of VHSV RNAs. In immersion-challenged fish a significant increase in Mx1 was observed only when using the virulent isolate DK-F1; however no elevated host response was detectable in fish challenged with the marine isolate DK-M.Rhabdo. Quintessentially the inability to detect any virus in trout challenged with the marine isolate via immersion suggests the virus was incapable of establishing infection. The mechanisms for this appear to be more related to initial cellular entry and replication rather than due to the overcoming of initial infection via an elevated host innate immune response.
Fish & Shellfish Immunology 11/2010; 30(1):287-94. · 2.96 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Infectious salmon anaemia virus (ISAV) is a serious and commercially important pathogen of Atlantic salmon. Multiple viruses have been defined based on a highly polymorphic region (HPR) of the haemagglutinin-esterase (HE) protein encoded by genomic segment 6. The viruses causing disease outbreaks in farms to date all have deletions in this region with respect to a putative ancestral variant with a longer HPR (HPR0). The presence of HPR0 nucleic acid has been detected in many countries including Scotland, where it has mostly been associated with healthy wild and farmed fish. Pathogenic ISAVs appear to have been derived from HPR0 ancestors on multiple independent occasions, which suggests that the presence of HPR0 could represent a risk factor in the re-emergence of infectious salmon anaemia (ISA) disease. In order to better understand this potential risk factor, anonymous samples of gill and heart tissues from marine Atlantic salmon farms throughout Scotland were collected and screened for the presence of ISAV RNA. Since it has not been possible to isolate HPR0 in conventional ISA-permissive cell cultures, a sensitive real-time RT-PCR method was employed for the detection of viral RNA. DNA sequencing was carried out on the positive samples to determine their HPR sequence. ISAV RNA was detected in 6 samples originating from 4 different locations and sequence analysis indicated the viruses were of the HPR0 type. Full length segment 6 sequence analysis of 1 positive sample indicated that it was most similar to a European genotype sequence previously obtained from North America.
Diseases of Aquatic Organisms 12/2009; 87(3):161-9. · 1.73 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A survey was undertaken to determine the potential distribution of viral haemorrhagic septicaemia virus (VHSV) in marine cage-based salmonid farms in Scotland. A rapid, accurate and sensitive quantitative real-time RT-PCR (qRT-PCR) assay was developed, targeting a conserved region of the nucleoprotein (N) gene of the virus. The qRT-PCR assay was shown to be more sensitive than the conventional VHSV RT-PCR. A validation protocol included several different virus isolates as the target and confirmed that the assay could detect all European VHSV genotypes (I, II and III). Both endogenous and exogenous controls were designed to control for integrity of template and distinguish between true VHSV positives and contamination with the positive control material. In total, the universal European VHSV qRT-PCR assay with exogenous positive control was applied to screen 2040 individual Atlantic salmon Salmo salar and 150 individual rainbow trout Oncorhynchus mykiss. No evidence of the presence of VHSV in association with either salmonid species in Scottish marine farms was detected. However, both marine Atlantic salmon and rainbow trout are still considered possible carriers of VHSV, which remains a potential threat to freshwater farming. Therefore, a continued surveillance of these species in marine environment is recommended.
Diseases of Aquatic Organisms 08/2008; 80(2):137-44. · 1.73 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Accurate species identification of decapod crustacean larvae is required to understand their population distributions, life
cycle dynamics and interactions with their habitats. Analysis of plankton samples using morphological taxonomic methods and
microscopy is time-consuming, requires highly skilled and trained operatives and may often be inaccurate. As complementary
tools to classical identification methods, recent work has focused on the development of molecular approaches and shows their
feasibility for species-specific identification. This study has developed real-time PCR assays utilising species-specific
Taqman® probes designed in the cytochrome oxidase I (COI) gene of Liocarcinus depurator, Necora puber, Carcinus maenas and Cancer pagurus. Our study then employed the probe and primers designed for L. depurator to obtain accurate identification and relative abundance estimates of L. depurator larvae in plankton samples collected between March 2005 and October 2006. Ranges of larval abundances were derived from a
standard curve created from plankton samples spiked with a known number of larvae reared in the laboratory. Inhibition of
the PCR reaction was shown to be an important factor and our results suggested that 0.1ng of DNA as template provided accurate
identification and avoided inhibition. Real-time PCR was shown to provide accurate species identification on unsorted plankton
samples and could be suitable for the estimation of larval abundances in the plankton, although more work must be done to
improve the accuracy of those estimations.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Infectious pancreatic necrosis virus (IPNV) and infectious salmon anaemia virus (ISAV) are economically important pathogens of the salmonid aquaculture industry. Atlantic salmon were challenged by intraperitoneal injection (i.p.) with either virus followed by time-course sampling. Cohabiting fish in the IPNV challenge were also sampled. Kidney tissue was analysed using a TaqMan real-time PCR assay to measure the expression of a range of host immune genes in relation to the endogenous control, elongation factor 1 alpha (ELF). Host genes measured included Mx, type I and type II interferon (IFN), gammaIFN induced protein (gammaIP), interleukin-1 beta (IL-1beta) and tumour necrosis factor alpha (TNF-alpha). Viral levels were also measured. In i.p. injected fish, both viruses greatly induced expression of Mx, gammaIP, type I and type II IFN by day 6 post-infection, however only ISAV caused substantial mortality. Some differences between the expression kinetics produced by both viruses were noted. Infection with ISAV increased IL-1beta expression following day 6, but no effect was seen in fish infected with IPNV. Neither virus induced TNF-alpha expression. This study confirms the presence of both type I and type II IFN responses and their induced genes in Atlantic salmon upon infection with an orthomyxovirus and a birnavirus.
Fish & Shellfish Immunology 04/2007; 22(3):230-41. · 2.96 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The Mx response was compared in parr and post-smolt Atlantic salmon following intra-peritoneal injection of the same dose of Infectious Pancreatic Necrosis Virus (IPNV) per g of fish. Mx gene expression, measured by quantitative RT-PCR in liver, showed a maximum level 3days after injection in parr with undetectable levels on day 7. In post-smolts, similar levels as in parr were attained on day 3, but levels then continued to rise on day 5 and 7 to about 10 times higher than the peak level in parr. Poly I:C injected parr showed Mx levels similar to IPNV injected post-smolts. Mortality from IPN in post-smolts occurred on days 6 and 7. Levels of IPN VP2 transcripts in parr were very low and did not increase with time, suggesting viral replication was low. Individual variation in levels of Mx and IPN VP2 gene transcripts was very high in post-smolts and although data is limited there was an inverse relationship between the levels of Mx and VP2, suggesting that individuals with high Mx levels on day 5 may be able to prevent viral replication. This contrasts with the response in parr, where IPN-resistance was not associated with a high Mx response.
Fish & Shellfish Immunology 04/2007; 22(3):151-6. · 2.96 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Lepeophtheirus salmonis and Caligus elongatus are important parasites of wild and cultured salmonids in the Northern Hemisphere. These species, generically referred to as sea lice, are estimated to cost the Scottish aquaculture industry in excess of pound 25 million per annum. There is great interest in countries such as Ireland, Scotland, Norway and Canada to sample sea lice larvae in their natural environment in order to understand lice larvae distribution and improve parasite control. Microscopy is currently relied on for use in the routine identification of sea lice larvae in plankton samples. This method is, however, limited by its time-consuming nature and requirement for highly skilled personnel. The development of alternative methods for the detection of sea lice larvae which might be used to complement and support microscopic examinations of environmental samples is thus desirable. In this study, a genetic method utilising a real-time PCR Taqman-MGB probe-based assay targeting the mitochondrial cytochrome oxidase I (mtCOI) gene was developed, which allowed species-specific detection of L. salmonis and C. elongatus larvae from unsorted natural and spiked plankton samples. Real-time PCR is a rapid, sensitive, highly specific and potentially quantitative technique. This study demonstrated its suitability for the routine identification of L. salmonis and C. elongatus in mixed plankton samples. The real-time PCR assay developed has considerable potential for use in complementing, supporting and reducing reliance on time-consuming conventional microscopic examination for the specific identification of sea lice larvae in plankton samples.
Diseases of Aquatic Organisms 01/2007; 73(2):141-50. · 1.73 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Infectious salmon anaemia virus (ISAV) is an orthomyxovirus and member of the genus Isavirus, which contains eight genomic segments coding for ten viral proteins. This study focussed on identifying the function of the largest protein encoded by ISAV genomic segment 7 (7i), which like influenza A segment 7 encodes two proteins, one of which is based on removal of an intron from the primary transcript. Using two independent methods, an Mx1 promoter-driven reporter system and real-time PCR of FACS-sorted transfected cells, we demonstrate that the non-structural ISAV 7i protein is an interferon-signalling antagonist. Other transfection studies indicated a predominantly cytoplasmic localisation of the expressed protein, which is consistent with this role. The demonstration that ISAV segment 7 encodes a putative non-structural IFN system antagonist reveals a difference with influenza A virus, where segment 7, which shares a similar coding strategy, encodes the structural matrix proteins.
Virus Research 03/2006; 115(2):176-84. · 2.75 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Infectious salmon anaemia (ISA) is a disease of cultured Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) which was successfully eradicated from Scotland following its emergence in 1998. The rapid deployment of sensitive diagnostic methods for the detection of ISA virus (ISAV) was fundamental to the swift eradication of ISA disease in Scotland and continues to be of crucial importance to surveillance of the aquaculture industry. This study reports the development, validation, application and interpretation of two independent, highly sensitive and specific semi-quantitative Taqman real-time RT-PCR (qRT-PCR) methods for the detection of ISAV. Such technology offers considerable advantages over conventional RT-PCR methods in current routine use for ISAV surveillance. These include an increased sensitivity, enhanced specificity, semi-quantification using endogenous controls, a lack of subjectivity in results interpretation, speed of processing and improved contamination control.
Developments in biologicals 02/2006; 126:133-45; discussion 325-6.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Thirty-one gyrodactylid species from five families of freshwater fish were examined and variable region V4 of the 18S small subunit ribosomal RNA gene and ribosomal RNA internal transcribed spacers ITS1 and ITS2 were sequenced. Both the V4 region and spacers ITS1 and ITS2 proved useful for gyrodactylid diagnosis. Sequences of these fragments exhibited interspecific variations and allowed clear determination at the species level. In some cases, the length of the ITS1 PCR fragment provided useful genetic markers. Species that yielded a short ITS1 fragment also showed distinct groupings in ITS2 and V4 sequences that were markedly different to sequences from species that contain a long ITS1. Repetitive sequences located in the ITS1 of Gyrodactylus gobii and Gyrodactylus vimbi accounted for some of the variations in length of PCR products. There was no evidence for intraspecific variation within these regions and short tandem repeats were not found in the other species studied. The number of polymorphic and intraspecific variations in nucleic acid sequences was low, therefore these variations did not affect species determination of gyrodactylids. Minor differences in the sequences between Western and Eastern European populations were detected for Gyrodactylus salaris/Gyrodactylus thymalli, Gyrodactylus teuchis and Gyrodactylus truttae, but these do not affect species diagnosis based on ribosomal DNA sequence. These results confirm the utility of both variable region V4 and the ITS as molecular markers for Gyrodactylus species.
International Journal for Parasitology 06/2001; 31(7):738-45. · 3.64 Impact Factor