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Keywords:

  • contact networks;
  • farmed salmon;
  • hydrodynamic models;
  • infection pressure;
  • pancreas disease;
  • transmission

Abstract

Pancreas disease (PD) in marine salmon farming is caused by salmon pancreas disease virus (SPDV). Virus survival, infection pressure and contact networks among farms influence the potential of PD to spread. The present study aims to explore contact networks and infection pressure and their ability to explain transmission dynamics of PD in a Norwegian fjord. In this study, we included all records of PD by subtype 3 (SPDV3) in the study population from the first reported in August 2006 to the last reported in November 2009. Using logistic regression analyses, we found that contact network by water transport explained better transmission of PD than contact networks defined by ownership or close distance to infected farms. Hydrodynamic modelling can be a valuable tool to forecast the spread of PD and thereby take actions to reduce the transmission. Knowing the risk of getting infected, it is important to avoid water transport from infected farms when new cohorts are transferred to sea water, and to have conscious control regarding management operations between farms.