Infectious salmon anemia virus (ISAv) is a pathogen that mainly affects Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar), which are commonly grown in the aquaculture industry. The resulting disease, infectious salmon anemia, has caused large financial losses for this industry. ISAv is a member of the Orthomyxoviridae family, as are the influenza type A, B and C viruses, and it belongs to the genus Isavirus. ISAv has a single dual-functional surface protein that is involved in the interaction with the host cells, namely: a hemagglutinin-esterase (HE). The HE protein binds preferentially to 4-O,5-N-diacetylneuraminic acid residues that are present on the target cells, which in this case are salmon erythrocytes. As is the case for influenza, the binding of HE protein to 4-O-acetylsialosides (receptor function) triggers infection in salmon, whereas the esterase active site, which possesses the 'receptor destroying' activity hydrolyzes the 4-O-acetyl groups, aiding the release of the viral progeny to infect neighbouring cells. This thesis reports the cloning and the attempted expression of the haemagglutinin-esterase from two different ISAv strains, that is a Canadian and a Norwegian strain, using baculovirus expression systems.
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Thesis advisor: Bennet, Andrew
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