High fish density delays wound healing in Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar)
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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In this study, we look closer at how high fish densities influence wound repair mechanisms in post-smolt Atlantic salmon. The fish were wounded with a 5 mm skin punch biopsy needle and stocked at two different densities, a high fish density (100 kg/m3) treatment and a low fish density treatment (20 kg/m3) serving as the control. The healing wounds were followed for 57 days with samples taken 1, 3, 7, 14, 36, 43 and 57 days post wounding. The transcriptomic analysis suggests that high fish density enhance inflammation and represses cell proliferation, tissue secretion and collagen synthesis in the healing wounds. The histological analysis further showed delayed epidermal and dermal repair in the high fish density treatment compared to control. The overall wound contraction was also altered by the treatment. In conclusion, high fish density enhances immune responses and delay tissue repair, which ultimately results in delayed wound healing.