A Jaundice Syndrome occurs sporadically among sea-pen-farmed Chinook Salmon in British Columbia, the westernmost province of Canada. Affected salmon are easily identified by a distinctive yellow discolouration of the abdominal and periorbital regions. Through traditional diagnostics, no bacterial or viral agents were cultured from tissues of jaundiced Chinook Salmon; however, piscine reovirus (PRV) was identified via RT-rPCR in all 10 affected fish sampled. By histopathology, Jaundice Syndrome is an acute to peracute systemic disease, and the time from first clinical signs to death is likely <48 h; renal tubular epithelial cell necrosis is the most consistent lesion. In an infectivity trial, Chinook Salmon, Sockeye Salmon and Atlantic Salmon, intraperitoneally inoculated with a PRV-positive organ homogenate from jaundiced Chinook Salmon, developed no gross or microscopic evidence of jaundice despite persistence of PRV for the 5-month holding period. The results from this study demonstrate that the Jaundice Syndrome was not transmissible by injection of material from infected fish and that PRV was not the sole aetiological factor for the condition. Additionally, these findings showed the Pacific coast strain of PRV, while transmissible, was of low pathogenicity for Atlantic Salmon, Chinook Salmon and Sockeye Salmon.
Keywords: Atlantic Salmon; Chinook Salmon; Jaundice Syndrome; Sockeye Salmon; piscine reovirus.
© 2015 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.