Aquaculture is a rapidly growing industry with worldwide demand for fish increasing as its a cheaper and healthier source of protein. World aquaculture production is expected to increase from 19.3 billion tons in 1993 to 51.8 billion tons by 2025. To maintain this level of growth the problem of infectious diseases must be addressed. The Aquabirnavirus, IPNV, is the causative agent of a remarkably contagious and highly destructive disease of many salmonids. This virus can cause greater than 90 % mortality in hatchery stocks less than four months old. Survivors of the infection can also remain asymptomatic carriers and therefore serve as reservoirs for the virus.
IPNV has been documented in all countries where salmonids exist and is a pathogen of rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss), brook trout (Salvelinus fontinalis), brown trout (Salmo trouta), cut throat (Salmo clarki), amago salmon (Oncorhynchus rhodus), sockeye salmon (Oncorhynchus nerka), Arctic char (Salvelinus alpinus), and Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) and is therefore considered a pathogen of major economic importance to the aquaculture industry. IPNV is a RNA non-enveloped, icosahedral, virion composed of 132 morphological subunits and is 60 nm in diameter. The IPNV genome is composed of two molecules of dsRNA in a bi-segmented conformation. Biological Mimetics, Inc. (BMI) is applying its Immune Dampening and Refocusing Technology to the IPNV capsid proteins.