In Tasmania, Atlantic salmon aquaculture is the largest primary production industry in the state and is now worth one billion dollars annually to the local economy. The isolation of Tasmania from salmonid populations in Europe, North and South America helps maintain biosecurity and protects the industry from numerous devastating exotic diseases. While Tasmania may be free of the highly virulent microbes found elsewhere in major salmon-producing countries, it has its own unique pathogens and our research group has developed and commercialised a number of bespoke vaccines. Currently, we are developing three new vaccines, one of which is for the Tasmanian Atlantic salmon reovirus (TSRV).
TSRV, a member of the reoviridae family, was first isolated from Australian brood-stock in 1990 and in recent years, it has become more prevalent in farmed Atlantic salmon as production and water temperatures increase. The virus, known to cause direct multifocal hepatocellular necrosis in salmon is also thought to predispose infected fish to other coinfections. With a ubiquitous distribution across all marine farming sites and a high carriage level when water temperatures peak, the salmon industry has invested in the development of vaccine.
In this presentation, we will show the development of a novel TSRV challenge model, which has provided a platform to test vaccine candidates. To date, the challenge model has produced robust correlating datasets (including virus titration, feed intake and antibody responses) that reflect a promising level of vaccine performance.