Scientists have identified a new infectious fish disease in farmed Atlantic salmon, Salmo salar.
Research on the new disease, called Heart and Skeletal Muscle Inflammation (HSMI) has just been published in the Journal of Fish Diseases by a team of scientists from Norway's National Veterinary Institute.
They found that post-smolt salmon become infected with HSMI when injected with tissue from other salmon suffering from the disease. Even without the injection to trigger HSMI, other salmon kept alongside infected fish developed lesions.
The fish developed serious epicarditis and myocarditis and inflammation caused by spongy layers of cells.
The team suspect that HSMI is caused by a currently unidentified virus, as antibiotics have failed to provide a treatment for the condition.
For more details see: Kongtorp RT, Kjerstad A, Taksdal T, Guttvik A, Falk K. (2004) - Heart and skeletal muscle inflammation in Atlantic salmon, Salmo salar L.: a new infectious disease. J Fish Dis. 2004 Jun;27(6):351-8.