Martinez-Rubio L, Morais S, Evensen O, Wadsworth S, Ruohonen K, Vecino JLG, Bell JG & Tocher DR (2012) Functional feeds reduce heart inflammation and pathology in Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar L.) following experimental challenge with Atlantic salmon reovirus (ASRV). PLoS ONE, 7 (11), Art. No.: e40266. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0040266
Heart and Skeletal Muscle Inflammation (HSMI), recently associated with a novel Atlantic salmon reovirus (ASRV), is currently one of the most prevalent inflammatory diseases in commercial Atlantic salmon farms in Norway. Mortality varies from low to 20%, but morbidity can be very high, reducing growth performance and causing considerable financial impact. Clinical symptoms, including myocarditis, myocardial and red skeletal muscle necrosis, correlate with the intensity of the inflammatory response. In the present study, the effects of two functional feeds (FF1 and FF2) were compared to a standard commercial reference feed (ST) in Atlantic salmon subjected to an ASRV challenge. The functional feeds had reduced levels of total lipid and digestible energy, and different levels and proportions of long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (LC-PUFA). The objective was to determine whether these feeds could provide effective protection by decreasing the inflammatory response associated with HSMI. Histopathology, viral load, fatty acid composition and gene expression of heart tissue were assessed over a period of 16 weeks post-infection with ASRV. The viral load and histopathology scores in heart tissue in response to ASRV infection were reduced in fish fed both functional feeds, with FF1 showing the greatest effect. Microarray hierarchical cluster analysis showed that the functional feeds greatly affected expression of inflammation/immune related genes over the course of the ASRV infection. Viral load correlated with up-regulation of pro-inflammatory genes at the early-mid stages of infection in fish fed the ST diet. Expression of inflammatory genes 16-weeks after ASRV challenge reflected the difference in efficacy between the functional feeds, with fish fed FF1 showing lower expression. Thus, severity of the lesions in heart tissue correlated with the intensity of the innate immune response and was associated with tissue fatty acid compositions. The present study demonstrated that dietary modulation through clinical nutrition had major influences on the development and severity of the response to ASRV infection in salmon. Thus, HSMI was reduced in fish fed the functional feeds, particularly FF1. The modulation of gene expression between fish fed the different feeds provided further insight into the molecular mechanisms and progression of the inflammatory and immune responses to ASRV infection in salmon.
PLoS ONE: Volume 7, Issue 11