Infectious salmon anaemia virus infection of Atlantic salmon gill epithelial cells
1 Norwegian Veterinary Institute, Ullevålsveien 68, PO Box 750 Sentrum, Oslo, N-0106, Norway
2 Norwegian School of Veterinary Science, PO Box 8146, Dep, N-0033, Oslo, Norway
Virology Journal 2013, 10:5 doi:10.1186/1743-422X-10-5Published: 2 January 2013
Infectious salmon anaemia virus (ISAV), a member of the Orthomyxoviridae family, infects and causes disease in farmed Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar L.). Previous studies have shown Atlantic salmon endothelial cells to be the primary targets of ISAV infection. However, it is not known if cells other than endothelial cells play a role in ISAV tropism. To further assess cell tropism, we examined ISAV infection of Atlantic salmon gill epithelial cells in vivo and in vitro. We demonstrated the susceptibility of epithelial cells to ISAV infection. On comparison of primary gill epithelial cell cultures with ISAV permissive fish cell cultures, we found the virus yield in primary gill epithelial cells to be comparable with that of salmon head kidney (SHK)-1 cells, but lower than TO or Atlantic salmon kidney (ASK)-II cells. Light and transmission electron microscopy (TEM) revealed that the primary gill cells possessed characteristics consistent with epithelial cells. Virus histochemistry showed that gill epithelial cells expressed 4-O-acetylated sialic acid which is recognized as the ISAV receptor. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first demonstration of ISAV infection in Atlantic salmon primary gill epithelial cells. This study thus broadens our understanding of cell tropism and transmission of ISAV in Atlantic salmon.