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 October 21, 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 October 21, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

'Cadaver Dog' Sniffs out Human Remains

'Cadaver Dog' Sniffs out Human Remains

AP (Oct. 21, 2014) — Where's a body buried? Buster's nose can often tell you. He's a cadaver dog, specially trained to find human remains and increasingly being used by law enforcement and accepted in courts. These dogs are helping solve even decades-old mysteries. (Oct. 21) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
White Lion Cubs Born in Belgrade Zoo

White Lion Cubs Born in Belgrade Zoo

AFP (Oct. 20, 2014) — Two white lion cubs, an extremely rare subspecies of the African lion, were recently born at Belgrade Zoo. They are being bottle fed by zoo keepers after they were rejected by their mother after birth. Duration: 00:42 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Traditional Farming Methods Gaining Ground in Mali

Traditional Farming Methods Gaining Ground in Mali

AFP (Oct. 20, 2014) — He is leading a one man agricultural revolution in Mali - Oumar Diatabe uses traditional farming methods to get the most out of his land and is teaching others across the country how to do the same. Duration: 01:44 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Goliath Spider Will Give You Nightmares

Goliath Spider Will Give You Nightmares

Buzz60 (Oct. 20, 2014) — An entomologist stumbled upon a South American Goliath Birdeater. With a name like that, you know it's a terrifying creepy crawler. Sean Dowling (@SeanDowlingTV) has the details. Video provided by Buzz60
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