Infectious pancreatic necrosis (IPN) is a viral disease in salmon and rainbow trout that a few decades ago caused major losses for the Norwegian aquaculture industry. In 2009, AquaGen used genetic markers against IPN making salmon more resistant to the IPN virus. Since then, the number of outbreaks has decreased by more than 90%.
Over the past few years, the Norwegian Veterinary Institute’s work on the characterization of viral strains has shown some cases of a new variant of the IPN virus, creating some uncertainty among breeders. AquaGen conducted several infection trials with traditional and the new IPN variant. Several thousand salmon were tested in controlled environmental conditions at VESO Vikan for 40-50 days.
Results showed that protection against the traditional virus variant provides over 95% survival in AquaGen salmon during the exposure period. The new virus variant showed a gradual increase in mortality throughout the experiment and overall survival was around 70%.
“The results are confirmed through two independent trials with similar data. No acute mortality, but a gradual development in which 70% of the fish survived the infection. This shows that the AquaGen strain is equipped to meet the new IPN variant in the field, where the infection pressure is significantly lower than in an infection trial,” said Vibeke Emilsen, product manager at AquaGen.
The company said that will continue to monitor the situation.