Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Cornell Researchers Find Serious Fish Virus In Northeast For First Time

Date:
June 22, 2006
Source:
Cornell University
Summary:
Cornell researchers have discovered for the first time in New York state a serious fish virus that causes fatal anemia and hemorrhaging in a wide variety of fish species.

Dr. Paul Bowser, left, and postdoctoral associate Geoff Groocock collect organs (liver, spleen, gonads and kidney) of a round goby for viral analysis in Cornell's Veterinary Medical Center. The fish were infected with viral hemorrhagic septicemia virus.
Credit: Photo Jason Koski/University Photography

A deadly fish virus has been found for the first time in a variety of freshwater fish in the northeastern United States by Cornell University researchers.

Related Articles


According to experts at the Aquatic Animal Health Program at Cornell's College of Veterinary Medicine, the viral hemorrhagic septicemia virus (VHSV), which causes fatal anemia and hemorrhaging in many fish species, was discovered in upstate New York. It poses no threat to humans.

In May 2006, the researchers, in collaboration with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), isolated the virus in round gobies that died in a massive fish kill in the St. Lawrence River and in Irondequoit Bay, which is on the southern shore of Lake Ontario near Rochester, N.Y. VHSV was also found in a muskellunge from the St. Lawrence River in May.

VHSV is classified as a reportable disease by the World Organization of Animal Health (OIE), which means it must be reported to OIE if detected. The international agency usually imposes restrictions on any host country with VHSV to prevent fish from being moved to other areas and countries.

"If you think of VHSV, you think of the most serious disease of freshwater rainbow trout in Europe," said Paul Bowser, Cornell professor of aquatic animal medicine, noting that the virus does not currently pose as great a threat in North America. "Right now, it's a matter of trying to collect as much information and as fast as possible so we can to notify the DEC so they can make management decisions."

Cornell's role is to diagnose and research the disease for the state agency. Bowser and colleagues are trying to develop a rapid diagnostic test, called a PCR (polymerase chain reaction), which would amplify and detect small amounts of viral DNA or RNA in a blood or tissue sample.

Although no management decisions have yet been made, the DEC could recommend that boaters clean their boats before traveling from one body of water to another and not dump bait minnows into open water after a day of fishing.

VHSV was first reported in 1988 in the United States in spawning salmon in the Pacific Northwest. It was reported in North American freshwater fish in 2005 in muskellunge in Lake St. Claire, Mich., and in freshwater drum from the Bay of Quinte, Lake Ontario, Canada. The virus appears to have now traveled east.

"For the sport-fishing public, this specific virus does not appear to be host specific to the species it infects," Bowser said. The virus is known to infect round gobies, muskellunge, freshwater drum, smallmouth bass, bullhead, yellow perch and crappie, but more study is needed to determine all the species at risk. "The significance to the sport-fishing industry is not known at this point."

Sport fishing for chinook and coho salmon is a $100 million annual industry for the Lake Ontario region alone.

Ecologically speaking, the impacts are equally unknown. The virus has the potential to alter the freshwater food web with both predators like muskellunge and prey fish like perch and crappie equally at risk.

"In a large ecosystem -- we're talking about the lower Great Lakes -- there really is no treatment," said Bowser. "The best management option is to try and contain the spread of it as best we can."

Hot summer weather impacts how the virus spreads because warmer water can stress fish, thereby lowering their natural defenses and making them more vulnerable.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Cornell University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Cornell University. "Cornell Researchers Find Serious Fish Virus In Northeast For First Time." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 22 June 2006. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/06/060620081123.htm>.
Cornell University. (2006, June 22). Cornell Researchers Find Serious Fish Virus In Northeast For First Time. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/06/060620081123.htm
Cornell University. "Cornell Researchers Find Serious Fish Virus In Northeast For First Time." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/06/060620081123.htm (accessed October 25, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Deep Sea 'mushroom' Could Be Early Branch on Tree of Life

Deep Sea 'mushroom' Could Be Early Branch on Tree of Life

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Oct. 24, 2014) Miniature deep sea animals discovered off the Australian coast almost three decades ago are puzzling scientists, who say the organisms have proved impossible to categorise. Academics at the Natural History of Denmark have appealed to the world scientific community for help, saying that further information on Dendrogramma enigmatica and Dendrogramma discoides could answer key evolutionary questions. Jim Drury has more. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Black Bear Cub Goes Sunday Shopping

Black Bear Cub Goes Sunday Shopping

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Oct. 23, 2014) Price check on honey? Bear cub startles Oregon drugstore shoppers. Rough Cut (no reporter narration). Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Dances With Wolves in China's Wild West

Dances With Wolves in China's Wild West

AFP (Oct. 23, 2014) One man is on a mission to boost the population of wolves in China's violence-wracked far west. The animal - symbol of the Uighur minority there - is under threat with a massive human resettlement program in the region. Duration: 00:41 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Breakfast Debate: To Eat Or Not To Eat?

Breakfast Debate: To Eat Or Not To Eat?

Newsy (Oct. 23, 2014) Conflicting studies published in the same week re-ignited the debate over whether we should be eating breakfast. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins