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Emerg Infect Dis. 2002 Jan;8(1):1-5.

Shipping and the spread of infectious salmon anemia in Scottish aquaculture.

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Fisheries Research Services Marine Laboratory, P.O. Box 101, Victoria Road, Aberdeen, AB11 9DB, Scotland, United Kingdom.


Long-distance transport of pathogens plays a critical role in the emergence of novel diseases. Shipping is a major contributor to such transport, and the role of ships in spreading disease has been recognized for centuries. However, statistical confirmation of pathogen spread by shipping is usually impractical. We present evidence of invasive spread of infectious salmon anemia in the salmon farms of Scotland and demonstrate a link between vessel visits and farm contamination. The link is associated with vessels moving fish between sites and transporting harvest, but not with vessels delivering food or involved in other work.

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