Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Cornell finds deadly fish virus in the Northeast is spreading to other species

21.07.2006
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.

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.

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.

Sabina Lee | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.cornell.edu

More articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation:

nachricht Foxes in the city: citizen science helps researchers to study urban wildlife
14.12.2018 | Veterinärmedizinische Universität Wien

nachricht Machine learning helps predict worldwide plant-conservation priorities
04.12.2018 | Ohio State University

All articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Data use draining your battery? Tiny device to speed up memory while also saving power

The more objects we make "smart," from watches to entire buildings, the greater the need for these devices to store and retrieve massive amounts of data quickly without consuming too much power.

Millions of new memory cells could be part of a computer chip and provide that speed and energy savings, thanks to the discovery of a previously unobserved...

Im Focus: An energy-efficient way to stay warm: Sew high-tech heating patches to your clothes

Personal patches could reduce energy waste in buildings, Rutgers-led study says

What if, instead of turning up the thermostat, you could warm up with high-tech, flexible patches sewn into your clothes - while significantly reducing your...

Im Focus: Lethal combination: Drug cocktail turns off the juice to cancer cells

A widely used diabetes medication combined with an antihypertensive drug specifically inhibits tumor growth – this was discovered by researchers from the University of Basel’s Biozentrum two years ago. In a follow-up study, recently published in “Cell Reports”, the scientists report that this drug cocktail induces cancer cell death by switching off their energy supply.

The widely used anti-diabetes drug metformin not only reduces blood sugar but also has an anti-cancer effect. However, the metformin dose commonly used in the...

Im Focus: New Foldable Drone Flies through Narrow Holes in Rescue Missions

A research team from the University of Zurich has developed a new drone that can retract its propeller arms in flight and make itself small to fit through narrow gaps and holes. This is particularly useful when searching for victims of natural disasters.

Inspecting a damaged building after an earthquake or during a fire is exactly the kind of job that human rescuers would like drones to do for them. A flying...

Im Focus: Topological material switched off and on for the first time

Key advance for future topological transistors

Over the last decade, there has been much excitement about the discovery, recognised by the Nobel Prize in Physics only two years ago, that there are two types...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

ICTM Conference 2019: Digitization emerges as an engineering trend for turbomachinery construction

12.12.2018 | Event News

New Plastics Economy Investor Forum - Meeting Point for Innovations

10.12.2018 | Event News

EGU 2019 meeting: Media registration now open

06.12.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Data use draining your battery? Tiny device to speed up memory while also saving power

14.12.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Tangled magnetic fields power cosmic particle accelerators

14.12.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

In search of missing worlds, Hubble finds a fast evaporating exoplanet

14.12.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>