At the Institute of Marine Research, experts in nutrition and fish health are investigating whether extracts from olive leaves can modulate resilience to viral diseases.

  • The hypothesis is that by including olive leaf extracts in the salmon diet, the fish become less sick when infected with a virus.

Finding ways that can contribute to making farmed fish more robust is important to increase the sustainability of the production and reduce losses.

Atlantic salmon are produced in net-pens in the ocean, this means they can be exposed to viruses that are present in the environment. Viral diseases are among the biggest challenges in the aquaculture industry today.

The functional properties previously described for the triterpenoids and polyphenols being investigated in this project make them interesting candidates as functional dietary components that may modulate the inflammation response and disease progression of viral diseases.

To determine if these compounds may influence how sick the fish become when infected with different viruses, we have to perform challenge studies.

In the first part of the project, we did a large screening study using a newly developed fish fry model at IMR. In this study different combinations of triterpenoids and polyphenols were included in the diet, and the fish were challenged with viral diseases to study if the extracts could modulate the resilience. Samples from the screening trial are currently being analyzed in the lab.