Ultrastructural insights into the replication cycle of Salmon Pancreas Disease Virus (SPDV) using Salmon Cardiac Primary Cultures (SCPCs)

Patricia Noguera, Matthias Klinger, Hristo Örün, Bianka Grunow, Jorge Del-Pozo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Salmon pancreas disease virus (SPDV) has been affecting the salmon farming industry for over 30 years, but despite the substantial amount of studies, there are still a number of recognized knowledge gaps, for example in the transmission of the virus. In this work, an ultrastructural morphological approach was used to describe observations after infection by SPDV of an ex vivo cardiac model generated from Atlantic salmon embryos. The observations in this study and those available on previous ultrastructural work on SPDV are compared and contrasted with the current knowledge on terrestrial mammalian and insect alphaviral replication cycles, which is deeper than that of SPDV both morphologically and mechanistically. Despite their limitations, morphological descriptions remain an excellent way to generate novel hypotheses, and this has been the aim of this work. This study has used a target host, ex vivo model and resulted in some previously undescribed features, including filopodial membrane projections, cytoplasmic stress granules or putative intracytoplasmic budding. The latter suggests a new hypothesis that warrants further mechanistic research: SPDV in salmon may have retained the capacity for non-cytolytic (persistent) infections by intracellular budding, similar to that noted in arthropod vectors of other alphaviruses. In the notable absence of a known intermediate host for SPDV, the presence of this pattern suggests that both cytopathic and persistent infections may coexist in the same host. It is our hope that the ultrastructural comparison presented here stimulates new research that brings the knowledge on SPDV replication cycle up to a similar level to that of terrestrial alphaviruses.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Fish Diseases
Early online date23 Aug 2021
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 23 Aug 2021


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