Infectious pancreatic necrosis (IPN) is a widespread and economically devastating fish disease caused by infection with a virus referred to as IPN virus (IPNv). In Chile, the disease is endemic and prevalent in both fresh- and salt-water farms affecting cultured salmonids, mainly Atlantic salmon. Here, we present the results of a retrospective cohort study of Atlantic salmon farms stocked between 2010 and 2013, aimed at quantifying the extent to which certain epidemiological factors influence the time interval between stocking and onset of IPN mortality (time to mortality, ttm) in marine farms. Six variables were retained in a final multivariable Cox proportional hazard model. Compared to the 2010 stocking year, ttm was shorter for salmon stocked in years 2012 (HR = 2.1; p = 0.005) and 2013 (HR = 4.3; p = 0.01). The number of salmon farms within a 10-km radius (HR = 1.07; p = 0.002), positive report of IPN in the previous production cycle (HR = 1.95; p = 0.006), three or more smolt batches (HR = 2.27; p < 0.001), and positive report of mortality attributable to BKD (HR = 2.02; p < 0.001) were also associated with low ttm; conversely, ttm was longer for farms that stocked heavier fish (HR = 0.94; p = 0.001). The results presented here were consistent with early studies of IPN epidemiology in Norway and Scotland. Some of the risk factors identified in this study also influenced the risk for other diseases, such as infectious salmon anemia, suggesting that implementation of selected management practices may help to mitigate the burden of important infectious diseases of salmon in Chile.
- Atlantic salmon farming
- Disease management
- Infectious pancreatic necrosis virus
- Risk factors