Quantification of Intra-Host Diversity of Piscine orthoreovirus (PRV-1) Infecting Atlantic and Chinook Salmon in BC

The decline in many populations of wild Pacific salmon is of great concern given their critical importance to First Nations, the ecosystems of the Pacific Northwest, and wild and farmed fisheries. The conservation efforts of the Pacific Salmon Foundation (PSF) have provided opportunity for research into infectious diseases like Heart and Skeletal Muscle Inflammation (HSMI) and jaundice/anemia that may contribute to these declines. Piscine orthoreovirus (PRV) causes HSMI in Norwegian Atlantic salmon. Recently detected HSMI in BC farmed Atlantic salmon, links between PRV and disease in Pacific species, and healthy PRV-infected salmon, have called into question the threat PRV poses to BC salmon health. When a virus infects a salmon and begins copying, errors are made, which leads to a variety of genome sequences that can have different biological effects. This research investigates previously overlooked genetic diversity of viral populations to help PSF explain differences in HSMI symptoms among salmon populations to inform industry practices, future research, and governmental policy.

Faculty Supervisor:

Curtis Suttle


Jessica Caleta


Pacific Salmon Foundation






University of British Columbia



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