SummaryInfectious salmon anemia (ISA) is still a serious viral disease for the national and international farmed salmon industry. The ongoing devastating ISA disease outbreaks in Chile, but also the situation in Norway, are a reminder of the importance o f this emerging disease, and effective vaccines are still not available. The causative agent, infectious salmon anemia virus (ISAV) is a piscine Orthomyxovirus, belonging to the same family as influenza viruses, and the two viruses share several features. In this project we explore the comparative aspect of a very promising research project aimed at developing effective vaccines against pandemic influenza A. A novel DNA-based subunit vaccine has been developed (Vaccibodies) where the viral surface antigen hemagglutinin has been linked to a targeting unit with specificity towards the cells that initiate immune responses. Targeting antigen directly to these cells leads to strongly enhanced anti-viral immune responses following vaccination. The results are m ost promising, as mice immunized once were fully protected one week after challenge with a lethal viral dose. Moreover, due to the potency of the vaccine, the need for potentially harmful adjuvants is circumvented.By applying this novel strategy, we have started to investigate whether targeting viral antigen to salmon antigen-presenting cells can lead to the development of an effective vaccine against ISA. Depending on the target specificity, different immune responses may be triggered by the vaccine. In this way, we will dissect the immune mechanisms important for protection against viral infection. This project could therefore contribute to basic knowledge on fish health, virus-fish interactions and Orthomyxoviruses, as well as benefit industrial inte rests.
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