Differential virulence of infectious hematopoietic necrosis virus (IHNV) isolates from the U and M phylogenetic subgroups is clearly evident in the Redfish Lake (RFL) strain of sockeye salmon Oncorhynchus nerka. In these fish, experimental immersion challenges with U isolates cause extremely high mortality and M isolates cause low or no mortality. When survivors of M virus immersion challenges were exposed to a secondary challenge with virulent U type virus they experienced high mortality, indicating that the primary M challenge did not elicit protective immunity. Delivery of a moderate dose (2 × 104 plaque-forming units [PFU]/fish) of virus by intraperitoneal injection challenge did not overcome RFL sockeye salmon resistance to M type IHNV. Injection challenge with a high dose (5 × 106 PFU/fish) of M type virus caused 10% mortality, and in this case survivors did develop protective immunity against a secondary U type virus challenge. Thus, although it is possible for M type IHNV to elicit cross-protective immunity in this disease model, it does not develop after immersion challenge despite entry, transient replication of M virus to low levels, stimulation of innate immune genes, and development of neutralizing antibodies in some fish.
Additional publication details
Resistance and Protective Immunity in Redfish Lake Sockeye Salmon Exposed to M Type Infectious Hematopoietic Necrosis Virus (IHNV)