Piscine Orthoreovirus-1 (PRV-1) Has Been Present in Chilean Salmon Aquaculture since at Least 1994
Heart and skeletal muscle inflammation (HSMI) caused by Piscine orthoreovirus (PRV) was first described in farmed Atlantic salmon in Chile in 2011. However, as PRV induces long-lasting infections, it is not known when Chilean farmed salmon may have started to show PRV positivity. This study aimed to evaluate the presence/absence of PRV-1 in formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded Atlantic salmon heart tissues (FFPE) cultured in Chile during 1992 and 1999. The most frequent histopathological findings in the 42 FFPE blocks were mild focal cardiomyocyte degeneration (57.1%) and a mild focal mononuclear inflammatory infiltrate (21.4%) in the ventricular stratum spongiosum of the heart. One of the 42 heart samples analyzed by RT-qPCR was positive for PRV-1 (2.4%). All samples were negative for other viral and bacterial pathogens that can induce similar histological changes in the heart. Taken together, our results show that PRV-1 has been present in Chile—as a low-virulence genogroup—since at least 1994, 17 years before the first HSMI outbreak in 2011. Finally, archaeovirology can be a valid alternative to contribute to the understanding of the epidemiology of diseases in aquaculture.