The Disease

Pancreas Disease (PD) is an important economic disease of European farmed Atlantic salmon. It can cause significant losses due to morbidity, mortality and reduced production.

While the name suggests that the primary organ damaged is the pancreas, severe cardiac and skeletal myopathies are also key features of this disease.

Chronic PD has also been known as ‘sudden death syndrome’ (SDS).

PD was first recognised in Scotland in 1976 but not actually described in the literature until 1984.

For many years there was some controversy over the aetiology of the disease, with various nutritional and infectious causes being suggested. The causative agent was only isolated in 1995 and was shown to be an alphavirus, now known as Salmon Pancreas Disease Virus (SPDV).


Disease reprinted courtesy of OIE Diagnostic Manual for Aquatic Animal Diseases, OIE (World Organisation for Animal Health), Paris, France.