Development of a tissue culture platform to investigate piscine orthoreovirus infectious cycle in-vitro
The aquaculture industry is constantly growing worldwide. Vast arrays of fish species are farmed in freshwater, brackish, and marine systems. In farms, fish reach high-population densities, which facilitates the outbreaks of infectious diseases. This is a big challenge for the aquaculture industry, particularly in the case of viral pathogens because there are few, if any, efficacious treatments against emergent and re-emergent fish viruses. Piscine orthoreovirus (PRV) is an emerging viral pathogen that causes high economic losses in the salmon farming industry. Importantly, by harming invaluable wild fisheries, PRV is suspected to influence both ecological and social damage to the communities that traditionally exploit this resource. The way PRV produces disease is virtually unknown due to the lack of tools for its study and this has seriously delayed the advance of research. The objective of our proposed research is to develop tools for the study of this virus in-vitro. The expected outcome will be an important contribution to the knowledge of PRV pathogenicity and will help to identify possible ways of prevention and treatment of PRV outbreaks.