Effects of clinical nutrition

Effects of clinical nutrition

Marine Alliance Science Technology Scotland logoEWOS logoSupervisors:

Full time PhD student:

  • Thitiya Summathed 2012-2016

Cardiomyopathy syndrome (CMS) is an economically important disease of adult Atlantic salmon in sea water. The first confirmed outbreaks were reported from coastal sites in Norway in the mid 1980s, but are now reported from most fish farming areas in Norway. The first case in Scotland was reported in 2000 and subsequently the Faeroe Islands and Denmark. CMS has been diagnosed in farmed and wild Atlantic salmon and typically, the disease affects adult fish after 12 to 18 months in sea water. The condition is transmittable and associated with severe myocarditis primarily in adult farmed Atlantic salmon, caused by a double-stranded RNA virus named piscine myocarditis virus (PMCV)

Fish heart dissectionThere is no vaccine or effective treatment currently available for CMS so using alternative methods to modulate the fish immune system and mitigate severity of the disease is crucial. Use of so-called “functional feeds” is one effective strategy widely used in the fish farming industry.

In this study, Atlantic salmon were fed with five experimental diets containing different proportions of lipid and protein and the fish were subsequently exposed to piscine myocarditis virus (PMCV), the causative agent of CMS. The study aims to determine the expression level of inflammatory and antiviral genes in heart and head kidney tissues to study the effects of the diets on the fish immune response and examine which diet formulation is most suitable to improve performance of fish infected by this disease.