Infectious salmon anaemia virus (ISAV) is a new orthomyxovirus-like virus. Thirteen isolates of ISAV (11 from Canada, one from Norway and one from Scotland) were studied for their replication in the CHSE-214 cell line compared with that in the SHK-1 cell line. All isolates replicated in SHK-1 cells, producing CPE between 3 and 12 days post-inoculation (p.i.). Six Canadian isolates also replicated in CHSE-214 cells, with production of CPE between 4 and 17 days p.i. Analysis of a one-step growth curve of ISAV in CHSE-214 cells showed that progeny virions remained predominantly cell-associated, accounting for the focalized nature of the CPE in the cell monolayer. One isolate (HKS 36) replicated in CHSE-214 cells, as shown by positive RT–PCR results of blind passages, but was non-cytopathic. All of the isolates were analysed for genetic heterogeneity by RT–PCR and RFLP with RI and I in a fraction of genome segment 2. The Canadian isolates showed a different RFLP profile to those of isolates Glesvaer/2/90 from Norway and 390/98 from Scotland. Structural proteins of four isolates, ‘Back Bay 98’, RPC/NB-877, RPC/NB-049 and Glesvaer/2/90, were examined further by SDS–PAGE. All viruses showed four major polypeptides, designated here as VP1–VP4, in Coomassie blue-stained gels. In isolates Glesvaer/2/90 and RPC/NB-877, these viral proteins had estimated molecular masses of 74, 53, 46 and 26·5 kDa, respectively. Viral proteins in isolates ‘Back Bay 98’ and RPC/NB-049 were of similar sizes, except that VP3 was 43 kDa. Taken together, these results show that there are phenotypic differences among strains of ISAV.


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