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Development and use of primary and permanent salmonid heart cultures for detection and replication of piscine orthoreoviruses (SALHEARTCELL)

Project description:

 The SALHEARTCELL project aims at the development of new marine resources by raising Salmonid Cardiac Primary Cultures (SalCPCs) and permanent cell cultures from cardiac tissues of Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar), rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss), and brown trout (Salmo trutta) and utilise these cells in studies on emerging aquatic viruses, which cause circulatory disorders in salmonids. Thanks to the expertise and collaboration between the partners Fraunhofer-Research Institution for Marine Biotechnology and Cell Technology (EMB) and the Fish Disease Research Unit, University of Veterinary Medicine Hannover (TiHo), a new biotechnological process of creating valuable and innovative aquatic resources (cardiac cell cultures/cell lines) will be achieved. These cultures and cell lines will be thoroughly characterised and used in trials of replication and detection of Piscine orthoreoviruses 1 and 3 (PRV-1 and PRV-3). These emerging pathogens of fish were recently detected in Germany, and thus are directly threatening German aquatic marine resources. PRV-1 and PRV-3 are infecting cardiomyocytes and erythrocytes. Despite various trials, the culturing of these viruses in existing cell lines failed. This significantly impairs disease diagnostics, research on the viruses and the development of vaccines, which would mitigate the threat. SalCPCs contain spontaneously contracting myocytes which are one of the target cell types of PRV-1 and PRV-3. Further development of cell cultures could provide a very valuable tool for further studies on salmonids and cardiac tissues in general. The trials for cultivating PRV-1 and PRV-3 will be supported by external international partners from Norway, Canada and Denmark and aim in developing a proof-of-concept for SalCPCs to stand as a test system for application in PRV-1 and PRV-3 research. This project can provide a significant advancement in research of cardiac cells and prevent the spreading of PRVs in salmonid populations.




SALHEARTCELL, German Federal Ministry of Education and Research, 2020-2023



Project Lead:

Dr. Mikolaj Adamek, (, 0511-953-8579)

Institute for Parasitology, Fish Disease Research Unit

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