Citation Herath T, Thompson K, Adams A & Richards R (2013) Interferon-mediated host response in experimentally induced salmonid alphavirus 1 infection in Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar L.). Veterinary Immunology and Immunopathology, 155 (1-2), pp. 9-20. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.vetimm.2013.05.011
Abstract Salmonid alphavirus (SAV) infection in cultured salmonids causes severe economic losses across Europe. Immune protection and antiviral mechanisms of the host against SAV are poorly characterised in vivo. Analysis of immune gene expression in head kidney of Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar L.) experimentally infected with SAV 1, using a quantitative reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR), revealed rapid induction of interferon I (INF-I), interferon II (INF-II) and INF-I associated Mx genes in SAV 1 infected fish compared to control fish injected with tissue culture supernatant. Mx protein was found to be highly expressed in the heart and mucosal membranes of infected fish by immunohistochemistry (IHC). Interestingly, the pathological changes that were observed in the target tissues of the virus became visible some time after peak expression of genes associated with the INF-I-pathway in head kidney tissue. These findings suggest that a non-specific antiviral immune response is rapidly induced during the early stages of SAV infection in salmon.