Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Virus discovered in Cultus Lake sport fish

20.07.2012
A Simon Fraser University fish-population statistician, working in collaboration with non-government organization scientists, has uncovered evidence of a potentially deadly virus in a freshwater sport fish in B.C.

SFU professor Rick Routledge and Stan Proboszcz, a fisheries biologist at the Watershed Watch Salmon Society, have found evidence of the piscine reovirus (PRV) in cutthroat trout caught in Cultus Lake, in the Fraser Valley region of B.C.

Tests conducted by, Fred Kibenge, a virology professor at the Atlantic Veterinary College in Prince Edward Island, found evidence of the virus in 13 of 15 sampled fish. Follow-up analyses further confirmed the virus's presence in these fish and identified their genetic sequencing as 99 per cent identical to Norwegian strains.

The virus has been scientifically linked to heart and skeletal muscle inflammation (HSMI), a disease that has reportedly become widespread in Norwegian salmon farms and can kill up to 20 per cent of infected fish.

Routledge believes this first ever discovery of PRV in a B.C. freshwater sport fish indicates the virus could be prevalent in B.C.

Many Canadian scientists and interest groups are concerned that B.C. salmon farms pose a serious risk to wild Pacific salmon. Scientists in other countries have specifically raised concerns about the spread of PRV from farms to wild salmon.

"If PRV has been found in a Cultus Lake sport fish it could be contributing to the failure of the lake's sockeye population to return in abundance," says Routledge.

He notes the federal government-mandated Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada has listed the species as endangered.

"The discovery of PRV in Cultus Lake's cutthroat trout also begs the question is it in other related species in the lake, such as rainbow trout, kokanee and Dolly Varden? This latest discovery could also mean that salmon and trout in any lake exposed to spawning salmon returning from the North Pacific must be considered at risk of infection."

Earlier this year, SFU honorary degree recipient Alexandra Morton, an independent biologist who collaborates on fish research with Routledge, reported that lab tests had found PRV in Atlantic salmon sold in B.C. supermarkets.

PRV is the second virus commonly associated with salmon farming that scientists say they have found in wild Pacific salmon and trout. Last fall, Routledge and Morton reported positive test results for the infectious salmon anaemia virus (ISAv) in sockeye salmon smolts.

Scientists testifying at the Cohen Commission Inquiry — a federally commissioned investigation of the Fraser River's declining sockeye population — have brought forth highly contested evidence of ISAv in other wild salmon populations, including Cultus Lake sockeye. The inquiry is scheduled to release its findings this fall.

"We discovered during the Cohen inquiry that pathogens are a major concern for B.C.'s salmon," says Craig Orr, executive director of Watershed Watch and an SFU graduate. "Our findings suggest we need to broaden our thinking and concerns for freshwater fish as well."

"There are many examples of devastating impacts of introduced pathogens in human, mammal and marine populations," adds Routledge.

"When small pox was introduced to North America it decimated the aboriginal population, which had not had any previous opportunity to build up a natural immunity to the disease. The potential for this to happen to B.C.'s highly valued Pacific salmon and trout populations must be taken seriously."

Simon Fraser University: Engaging Students. Engaging Research. Engaging Communities.

Contact: Rick Routledge (Port Coquitlam res.), 778.782.4478, 604.716.2435 (cell), routledg@sfu.ca

Craig Orr (Coquitlam res.), 604.809.2799 (cell), corr@telus.net

Carol Thorbes, PAMR, 778.782.3035, cthorbes@sfu.ca

Flickr: http://at.sfu.ca/rMFgpG

Carol Thorbes | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.sfu.ca

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Quick notes in the genome
07.07.2020 | Max-Planck-Institut für molekulare Genetik

nachricht Limitations of Super-Resolution Microscopy Overcome
07.07.2020 | Julius-Maximilians-Universität Würzburg

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Excitation of robust materials

Kiel physics team observed extremely fast electronic changes in real time in a special material class

In physics, they are currently the subject of intensive research; in electronics, they could enable completely new functions. So-called topological materials...

Im Focus: Electrons in the fast lane

Solar cells based on perovskite compounds could soon make electricity generation from sunlight even more efficient and cheaper. The laboratory efficiency of these perovskite solar cells already exceeds that of the well-known silicon solar cells. An international team led by Stefan Weber from the Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research (MPI-P) in Mainz has found microscopic structures in perovskite crystals that can guide the charge transport in the solar cell. Clever alignment of these "electron highways" could make perovskite solar cells even more powerful.

Solar cells convert sunlight into electricity. During this process, the electrons of the material inside the cell absorb the energy of the light....

Im Focus: The lightest electromagnetic shielding material in the world

Empa researchers have succeeded in applying aerogels to microelectronics: Aerogels based on cellulose nanofibers can effectively shield electromagnetic radiation over a wide frequency range – and they are unrivalled in terms of weight.

Electric motors and electronic devices generate electromagnetic fields that sometimes have to be shielded in order not to affect neighboring electronic...

Im Focus: Gentle wall contact – the right scenario for a fusion power plant

Quasi-continuous power exhaust developed as a wall-friendly method on ASDEX Upgrade

A promising operating mode for the plasma of a future power plant has been developed at the ASDEX Upgrade fusion device at Max Planck Institute for Plasma...

Im Focus: ILA Goes Digital – Automation & Production Technology for Adaptable Aircraft Production

Live event – July 1, 2020 - 11:00 to 11:45 (CET)
"Automation in Aerospace Industry @ Fraunhofer IFAM"

The Fraunhofer Institute for Manufacturing Technology and Advanced Materials IFAM l Stade is presenting its forward-looking R&D portfolio for the first time at...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Contact Tracing Apps against COVID-19: German National Academy Leopoldina hosts international virtual panel discussion

07.07.2020 | Event News

International conference QuApps shows status quo of quantum technology

02.07.2020 | Event News

Dresden Nexus Conference 2020: Same Time, Virtual Format, Registration Opened

19.05.2020 | Event News

 
Latest News

Quick notes in the genome

07.07.2020 | Life Sciences

Limitations of Super-Resolution Microscopy Overcome

07.07.2020 | Life Sciences

Put into the right light - Reproducible and sustainable coupling reactions

07.07.2020 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>