Pancreas disease (PD) is a viral disease of farmed salmonid fish, which causes huge economic losses. Pathological changes in skeletal muscle, pancreas and heart are hallmarks of PD. Stakeholders in the fish‐smoking industry have claimed that fillets from PD‐affected Atlantic salmon, Salmo salar L., are of poor quality. We therefore examined harvest‐ready, clinically healthy Atlantic salmon from a population of fish previously affected by PD. Histopathological changes in skeletal muscle tissues ranged from minor to severe. Fillet quality measurements showed that fish with severe skeletal muscle changes provided a paler raw fillet and a yellowish and harder cold‐smoked fillet than normal. PD had no significant effect on fillet gaping, bacteriological quality or off‐odour development during storage. An unexpected finding was a significant subendocardial fibrosis in 23% of the PD‐affected fish. The latter may indicate susceptibility to stress‐related heart failure.
Journal of Fish Diseases Online, 2012, Vol 35, Issue 12, p. 897-906