AGD challenge model
Amoebic Gill Disease (AGD) has been a problem in Tasmanian aquaculture for years. The disease is caused by the amoeba Neoparamoeba perurans, which thrives very well in high salinity sea water at increasing temperatures. During the last years outbreaks have also been reported in Ireland and Scotland, and there is a concern whether outbreaks will occur along the Norwegian coastline.
To face this potential problem, VESO Vikan has established a challenge model for AGD. Through close collaboration with the Norwegian Veterinary Institute (NVI), we are now able to cultivate the amoeba and have successfully infected salmon smolts in experimental trials. We are currently studying the dynamics of the challenge model at different temperatures and salinities. Furthermore, we have developed a model including challenge, fresh water treatment and re-challenge to be able to study the different genetic mechanisms induced by the first and subsequent infections.
The models will be useful for basic research, and to test methods for treatment and prophylactic measures, such as functional feeds, selective breeding and vaccination.
For further information, please contact Study director Vibeke Emilsen.
Photo: 1) Neoparamoeba perurans (Terje Steinum, NVI). 2) Gills 3 weeks after experimental infection (VESO Vikan). 3) Cumulative mortality after experimental infection (VESO Vikan).