Molecular epidemiology is a science which utilizes molecular biology to define the distribution of disease in a population (descriptive epidemiology) and relies heavily on integration of traditional (or analytical) epidemiological approaches to identify the etiological determinants of this distribution. The study of viral pathogens of aquaculture has provided many exciting opportunities to apply such tools. This review considers the extent to which molecular epidemiological studies have contributed to better understanding and control of disease in aquaculture, drawing on examples of viral diseases of salmonid fish of commercial significance including viral haemorrhagic septicaemia virus (VHSV), salmonid alphavirus (SAV) and infectious salmon anaemia virus (ISAV). Significant outcomes of molecular epidemiological studies include
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