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Appears in Collections:Aquaculture Journal Articles
Peer Review Status: Refereed
Title: Effects of functional feeds on the lipid composition, transcriptomic responses and pathology in heart of Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar L.) before and after experimental challenge with Piscine Myocarditis Virus (PMCV)
Author(s): Martinez-Rubio, Laura
Evensen, Oystein
Krasnov, Aleksei
Jorgensen, Sven Martin
Wadsworth, Simon
Ruohonen, Kari
Vecino, Jose L G
Tocher, Douglas R
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Keywords: Salmon
Inflammatory viral disease
Functional feeds
Clinical nutrition
lipid content
Issue Date: Jun-2014
Citation: Martinez-Rubio L, Evensen O, Krasnov A, Jorgensen SM, Wadsworth S, Ruohonen K, Vecino JLG & Tocher DR (2014) Effects of functional feeds on the lipid composition, transcriptomic responses and pathology in heart of Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar L.) before and after experimental challenge with Piscine Myocarditis Virus (PMCV), BMC Genomics, 15, Art. No.: 462.
Abstract: BACKGROUND Cardiomyopathy syndrome (CMS) is a severe cardiac disease of Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) recently associated with a double-stranded RNA virus, Piscine Myocarditis Virus (PMCV). The disease has been diagnosed in 75-85 farms in Norway each year over the last decade resulting in annual economic losses estimated at up to €9 million. Recently, we demonstrated that functional feeds led to a milder inflammatory response and reduced severity of heart lesions in salmon experimentally infected with Atlantic salmon reovirus, the causal agent of heart and skeletal muscle inflammation (HSMI). In the present study we employed a similar strategy to investigate the effects of functional feeds, with reduced lipid content and increased eicosapentaenoic acid levels, in controlling CMS in salmon after experimental infection with PMCV. RESULTS Hepatic steatosis associated with CMS was significantly reduced over the time course of the infection in fish fed the functional feeds. Significant differences in immune and inflammatory responses and pathology in heart tissue were found in fish fed the different dietary treatments over the course of the infection. Specifically, fish fed the functional feeds showed a milder and delayed inflammatory response and, consequently, less severity of heart lesions at earlier and later stages after infection with PMCV. Decreasing levels of phosphatidylinositol in cell membranes combined with the increased expression of genes related with T-cell signalling pathways revealed new interactions between dietary lipid composition and the immune response in fish during viral infection. Dietary histidine supplementation did not significantly affect immune responses or levels of heart lesions. CONCLUSIONS Combined with the previous findings on HSMI, the results of the present study highlight the potential role of clinical nutrition in controlling inflammatory diseases in Atlantic salmon. In particular, dietary lipid content and fatty acid composition may have important immune-modulatory effects in Atlantic salmon that could be potentially beneficial in fish balancing the immune and tissue responses to viral infections.
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Rights: © 2014 Martinez-Rubio et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly credited. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.

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