Infectious and parasitic diseases generate large economic losses in salmon farming. A feasible and sustainable alternative to prevent disease outbreaks may be represented by genetic improvement for disease resistance. To include disease resistance into the breeding goal, prior knowledge of the levels of genetic variation for these traits is required. Furthermore, the information from the genetic architecture and molecular factors involved in resistance against diseases may be used to accelerate the genetic progress for these traits. In this regard, marker assisted selection and genomic selection are approaches which incorporate molecular information to increase the accuracy when predicting the genetic merit of selection candidates. In this article we review and discuss key aspects related to disease resistance in salmonid species, from both a genetic and genomic perspective, with emphasis in the applicability of disease resistance traits into breeding programs in salmonids.