Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Fish Virus In Northeast Spreading To Other Fish Species

Date:
July 20, 2006
Source:
Cornell University
Summary:
Cornell researchers have found that a deadly fish virus detected in the northeastern United States for the first time in June in two species has probably spread to at least two more.

Paul Bowser, Cornell professor of aquatic animal medicine, holds a muskellunge found dead in the northeastern waters. The fish is one of many undergoing tests at Cornell to detect a deadly viral hemorrhagic septicemia virus (VHSV) spreading in the Great Lakes.
Credit: Image courtesy of Cornell University News Service

Cornell researchers have found that a deadly fish virus detected in the northeastern United States for the first time in June in two species has probably spread to at least two more. But they have yet to determine whether the virus is responsible for the death of hundreds of fish in Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River in recent weeks.

Over the past month, Cornell's Aquatic Animal Health Program at the College of Veterinary Medicine has been sent some 300 fish for evaluation. The frozen samples are from the fish that have been dying since late May and early June in Lake Erie, Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River. Last week, an estimated 1,000 dead fish washed up on the shores of Lake Ontario in just one morning.

Viral hemorrhagic septicemia virus (VHSV) was detected and confirmed for the first time in the Northeast in round gobies and muskellunge in June. Cornell researchers are awaiting finals results of tests on 54 fish of 10 species that indicated VHSV in smallmouth bass and burbot. To date, Cornell researchers also have tested for the virus in lake sturgeon, brown bullhead, rock bass, yellow perch, pumpkinseed and black crappie.

VHSV causes fatal anemia and hemorrhaging in many fish species but poses no threat to humans or other animals.

"The situation right now is that we still have fish dying in Lake Ontario," said Geoffrey Groocock, a postdoctoral associate at Cornell's Aquatic Animal Health Program.

"We have detected the virus in other fish species in the region, which may be contributing to the continuing fish mortalities. We are continuing to test samples as we receive them from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) and State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry Thousand Island Biological Field Station to try and get a clearer picture."

The researchers are using a classical cell culture technique to perform the initial stage of the diagnostic testing. This technique can take two to four weeks to yield results. Cornell researchers are developing a molecular-based test for VHSV based on a specific gene sequence in the virus. Once available, the new technique will cut the turnaround for confirmation to three to five days.

Groocock said the high number of dead fish reported recently may be due to the increased presence of vacationers on the lakes in summer, as well as the increased awareness since reports of mortalities earlier in the season. Also, recent storms and heavy winds may have washed up more fish from deeper waters. Groocock added that while more species of fish are dying, absolute numbers of fish mortalities do not appear to be changing.

"There is no cure for VHSV in fish in an ecosystem as large as the Great Lakes Basin. Given this, it is likely that management practices designed to limit the spread of the virus will be put in place," said Groocock.

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.


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. "Fish Virus In Northeast Spreading To Other Fish Species." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 20 July 2006. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/07/060720094531.htm>.
Cornell University. (2006, July 20). Fish Virus In Northeast Spreading To Other Fish Species. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/07/060720094531.htm
Cornell University. "Fish Virus In Northeast Spreading To Other Fish Species." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/07/060720094531.htm (accessed July 25, 2014).

Share This




More Plants & Animals News

Friday, July 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

How to Make Single Serving Smoothies: Howdini Hacks

How to Make Single Serving Smoothies: Howdini Hacks

Howdini (July 24, 2014) — Smoothies are a great way to get in lots of healthy ingredients, plus they taste great! Howdini has a trick for making the perfect single-size smoothie that will save you time on cleanup too! All you need is a blender and a mason jar. Video provided by Howdini
Powered by NewsLook.com
Boy Attacked by Shark in Florida

Boy Attacked by Shark in Florida

Reuters - US Online Video (July 24, 2014) — An 8-year-old boy is bitten in the leg by a shark while vacationing at a Florida beach. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Goma Cheese Brings Whiff of New Hope to DRC

Goma Cheese Brings Whiff of New Hope to DRC

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 24, 2014) — The eastern region of the Democratic Republic of Congo, mainly known for conflict and instability, is an unlikely place for the production of fine cheese. But a farm in the village of Masisi, in North Kivu is slowly transforming perceptions of the area. Known simply as Goma cheese, the Congolese version of Dutch gouda has gained popularity through out the region. Ciara Sutton reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Tyrannosaur Pack-Hunting Theory Aided By New Footprints

Tyrannosaur Pack-Hunting Theory Aided By New Footprints

Newsy (July 24, 2014) — A new study claims a set of prehistoric T-Rex footprints supports the theory that the giant predators hunted in packs instead of alone. 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:
from the past week

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