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Integrated multitrophic aquaculture (IMTA) reduces the environmental impacts of commercial aquaculture systems by combining the cultivation of fed species with extractive species. Shellfish play a critical role in IMTA systems by filter-feeding particulate-bound organic nutrients.

As bioaccumulating organisms, shellfish may also increase disease risk on farms by serving as reservoirs for important finfish pathogens such as infectious pancreatic necrosis virus (IPNV).

The ability of the blue mussel (Mytilus edulis) to bioaccumulate and transmit IPNV to naive Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) smolts was investigated. To determine the ability of mussels to filter and accumulate viable IPNV, mussels were held in water containing log 4.6 50% tissue culture infective dose(s) (TCID50) of the West Buxton strain of IPNV ml−1. Viable IPNV was detected in the digestive glands (DGs) of IPNV-exposed mussels as early as 2 h post exposure.

The viral load in mussel DG tissue significantly increased with time and reached log 5.35 ± 0.25 TCID50 g of DG tissue−1 after 120 h of exposure. IPNV titers never reached levels that were significantly greater than that in the water. – See more at: http://aquatic.animalhealth.org/article/experimental-transmission-infectious-pancreatic-necrosis-virus-blue-mussel-mytilus-edulis#sthash.NUn5Md2U.dpuf