Project workshops engage companies and researchers

Ausvet held three one-day workshops in Puerto Varas on 19, 20 and 21 March, 2018 to engage companies in the risk factor analyses, give updates on the new Research Platform and direct future research priorities.

The workshops were attended by 30 company representatives, researchers, and other industry stakeholders. They represented the continuation of Ausvet’s inclusive approach to research. Participants are considered as research partners and jointly guide the methodological approach, data access, and particularly interpretation of research results.

Analysis of SIFA/INFA data and setting research priorities

Sernpesca’s SIFA and INFA databases hold a wealth of information that may yield new insights into risk factors for SRS and Caligus. Ausvet’s initial analyses were presented in Puerto Varas on Monday, 19th March.

The key advantages of the SIFA and INFA databases are that they contain data about the entire industry, and they are immediately available. Their usefulness for in-depth epidemiological analysis is limited because they contain little detailed information about important risk factors (compared to company databases), but they provide a useful first step in the collaborative process of validating Ausvet’s chosen research methodology, seeking contributions from industry and in setting future research priorities.

SaTScan cluster analysis for SRS in Atlantic Salmon

A series of analytical methodologies were presented and discussed in detail, including descriptive visualisations of the data, spatial and temporal clustering analysis, spatial surface modelling (Krigging), and the analysis of 56 statistical models for SRS and 33 for Caligus, using Information Theoretic approach to identify the supported models to explain disease occurrence.

The model outcomes for SRS found significant associations with: the number of infected sites in the barrio; the level of vaccination; fish density and smolt weight, as well as an interaction with the level of Caligus infestation. There were also significant differences between species, region and stocking season.

The Caligus model results found significant associations with fish density, salinity, degree days and variation between species and region.

The model findings were largely consistent with current SRS and Caligus understanding, and provide an excellent foundation for testing more detailed hypotheses and risk factors in the upcoming research.

A full report is being finalised, translated and will be available on the PIISAC website soon.


Research Platform attracts strong company interest

Recruitment of producers to the new integrated Research Platform began in earnest in January and we are delighted by the strong response.

Following a busy round of face-to-face meetings with 18 companies in January and a further 2 in March, Ausvet is very encouraged by the early response to the Research Platform.  The following companies have already agreed to participate and are well on their way to finalising data exchange arrangements with Ausvet.



Recruitment of further companies to join this industry-owned Platform is ongoing.  The workshop held in Puerto Varas on 20 March, 2018  allowed companies to explore in depth how the Research Platform is being developed, the technology behind it and a vision for how it could be managed in the future.

In the longer term, the industry will benefit most from 100% participation in the Platform but analyses based on data from 5 to 7 companies will still allow Ausvet to demonstrate the benefits of this integrated data resource and to test the analytical model which has been developed.

The Platform will integrate complete health, management and production datasets from participating companies to support detailed epidemiological studies into the risk factors influencing SRS and Caligus across the entire industry.  Individual company data privacy and security is guaranteed to participating companies and is of paramount importance to Ausvet.  

The project team continue to encourage participation in the Research Platform.

During the visit in March, visits were made to a further 2 companies to bring the face to face company meetings to a total of twenty.

This new project website has a dynamic list of progress with company participation.

SRS post hoc model coefficients

Conditional model results
Coefficient Estimate (eb) and 95% CI Std. Error z value Pr(>|z|)
(Intercept) 0.0002 (0.0001-0.0003) 0.2004 -41.4100 < 0.0005
mod1$ncages_all_species_sc 1.0096 (0.9184-1.1098) 0.0483 0.2000 0.8433
Cumulative Degree Days 1.7517 (1.4970-2.0497) 0.0802 6.9900 0.0000
Species (Atlantic verse Coho) 0.6281 (0.4394-0.8980) 0.1824 -2.5500 0.0108
Species (Atlantic verse Rainbow Trout) 6.6260 (4.8935-8.9720) 0.1546 12.2300 < 0.0005
Initial smolt weight 1.1742 (1.0593-1.3017) 0.0526 3.0500 0.0023
Number of cages vaccinated SRS 0.8738 (0.8056-0.9478) 0.0415 -3.2500 0.0011
Number of antibiotic treated cages 1.0094 (1.0040-1.0147) 0.0027 3.4600 0.0005
Season of stocking (Autumn cf. Spring) 1.1056 (0.8513-1.4358) 0.1333 0.7500 0.4517
Season of stocking (Autumn cf. Summer) 0.8945 (0.7008-1.1415) 0.1245 -0.9000 0.3702
Season of stocking (Autumn cf. Winter) 0.7104 (0.5476-0.9216) 0.1328 -2.5700 0.0100
Number of salmonid sites within 10 km radius 1.1697 (1.05366-1.2986) 0.0534 2.9400 0.0033
Latitude 0.8579 (0.5361-1.3728) 0.2399 -0.6400 0.5228
Longitude 0.9194 (0.8028-1.0528) 0.0692 -1.2200 0.2242
Region (10 verse 11) 0.7778 (0.4568-1.3243) 0.2715 -0.9300 0.3548
Region (10 verse 12)  0.00001 (0.0000001- 0.0001)  1.1445  -9.9400  <0.0005
Zero inflated model results
(Intercept) 0.0245 (0.0157-0.0382) 0.2261 -16.4100 < 0.0005
Cumulative Degree Days  0.1505 (0.1084-0.2090)  0.1676  -11.3000  <0.0005

SRS best model coeffficients

Conditional model results
Coefficient Estimate (eb) and 95% CI Std. Error z value Pr(>|z|)
(Intercept) 0.0005 (0.0004-0.0006) 0.12681 -60.2 <0.00005
Species (Atlantic verse Coho) 0.5383 (0.4160-0.6964) 0.13142 -4.71 <0.00005
Species (Atlantic verse Rainbow Trout) 2.8578 (2.4408-3.3461) 0.08048 13.05 <0.00005
Cumulative Degree Days 1.2137 (1.1201-1.3151) 0.04094 4.73 <0.00005
Fish Density 0.9456 (0.8830-1.0127) 0.03496 -1.6 0.10957
Region (10 verse 11) 0.6148 (0.4250-0.8894) 0.18836 -2.58 0.00981
Region (10 verse 12) 0.0010 (0.0001-0.0076) 1.03779 -6.66 <0.00005
Latitude 0.7669 (0.5532-1.0631) 0.16663 -1.59 0.11123
Longitude 0.9488 (0.8617-1.0448) 0.04915 -1.07 0.28521
Zero inflated model results
(Intercept) 0.0020 (1.1248-1.5020) 0.7497 -8.2950 < 2e-16
Species (Atlantic verse Coho) 9.5620 (1.1154-1.2982) 2.1225 1.0640 0.2870
Species (Atlantic verse Rainbow Trout) 28.2163 (0.0005-0.0087) 0.8109 4.1190 0.0000