The viral hemorrhagic septicemia virus (VHSV), which causes fatal anemia and hemorrhaging in many fish species, poses no threat to humans, said Paul Bowser, professor of aquatic animal medicine at Cornell's College of Veterinary Medicine.
Bowser and colleagues recently tested 874 fish from seven sites in Lake Superior in collaboration with the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Western Fisheries Research Center in Seattle. Fish from Paradise and Skanee in Michigan and St. Louis Bay and Superior Bay in Wisconsin tested positive. Some of the results have been corroborated by other laboratories; others have tests still under way.
The virus, which has been identified in 28 freshwater fish species in the Great Lakes watershed, has reached epidemic proportions in the Great Lakes and threatens New York's sport-fishing industry, said Bowser, estimated to contribute some $1.4 billion annually to New York's economy.
"People come from all over the eastern United States to fish the Great Lakes," said Bowser, noting that the virus has also been found in a few inland waters as well, including lakes, streams and a family-owned earthen pond. "The economy of many of these areas ebbs and flows with the season and perceived value of outdoor recreational opportunities. The value of these opportunities is dependent on how successful we are at managing the health of wild fish. On a worldwide basis, VHSV is considered one of the most serious pathogens of fish, because it kills so many fish, is not treatable and infects a broad range of fish species."
In 2008 the U.S. Department of Agriculture issued a federal order preventing transport of the 28 species within the Great Lakes watershed, including Lake Superior, to limit the spread of this viral pathogen. As a result, the new findings will not lead to additional regulatory actions, according to authorities.
While no significant fish mortality due to VHSV was observed in 2008 and 2009, "It is important to note that there are still fish harboring VHSV; essentially the infection proceeds even though no mortalities are being observed," said Bowser. "This is important because it suggests that these infected fish may serve as a reservoir for the virus in the Great Lakes ecosystem. While we don't fully understand the lack of recent mortality, the potential presence or absence of stressors on the fish may be playing a role."
The 2009 work was funded by the Cornell Agriculture Experiment Station and USDA APHIS. Cornell collaborators also include graduate students Emily Cornwell and Geof Eckerlin; and associate professors Mark Bain (natural resources, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences) and James W. Casey (microbiology and immunology, Vet College).
Joe Schwartz | EurekAlert!
Upcycling 'fast fashion' to reduce waste and pollution
03.04.2017 | American Chemical Society
Litter is present throughout the world’s oceans: 1,220 species affected
27.03.2017 | Alfred-Wegener-Institut, Helmholtz-Zentrum für Polar- und Meeresforschung
The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.
Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...
The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...
Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.
Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...
Two researchers at Heidelberg University have developed a model system that enables a better understanding of the processes in a quantum-physical experiment...
Glaciers might seem rather inhospitable environments. However, they are home to a diverse and vibrant microbial community. It’s becoming increasingly clear that they play a bigger role in the carbon cycle than previously thought.
A new study, now published in the journal Nature Geoscience, shows how microbial communities in melting glaciers contribute to the Earth’s carbon cycle, a...
20.04.2017 | Event News
18.04.2017 | Event News
03.04.2017 | Event News
21.04.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
21.04.2017 | Health and Medicine
21.04.2017 | Physics and Astronomy