Detection of piscine orthoreoviruses (PRV-1 and PRV-3) in Atlantic salmon and rainbow trout farmed in Germany
Piscine orthoreoviruses (PRVs) are emerging pathogens causing circulatory disorders in salmonids. PRV-1 is the etiological cause of heart and skeletal muscle inflammation (HSMI) in farmed Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar), characterized by epicarditis, inflammation and necrosis of the myocardium, myositis and necrosis of red skeletal muscle. In 2017, two German breeding farms for Atlantic salmon and rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) experienced disease outbreaks with mortalities of 10% and 20% respectively. The main clinical signs were exhaustion and lethargic behaviour. During examinations, PRV-1 in salmon and PRV-3 in trout were detected for the first time in Germany. Further analyses also indicated the presence of Aeromonas salmonicida in internal tissues of both species. While PRV-1 could be putatively linked with the disease in Atlantic salmon, most of the rainbow trout suffered from an infection with A. salmonicida and not with PRV-3. Interestingly, the sequence analysis suggests that the German PRV-3 isolate is more similar to a Chilean PRV-3 isolate from Coho salmon (Oncorhynchus kisutch) than to PRV-3 from rainbow trout from Norway. This indicates a wide geographic distribution of this virus or dispersal by global trade. These findings indicate that infections with PRVs should be considered when investigating disease outbreaks in salmonids.