Leetown Science Center

Aquatic Animal Health and Disease

Center scientists perform investigations related to the health, pathogens and diseases of aquatic animals in natural freshwater, estuarine, and marine surface/deep water environments as well as aquaculture. Scientists engage in research utilizing the disciplines of pathobiology, physiology, immunology, microbiology, and molecular biology in tandem to identify pathogens and determine their impacts on host organisms and aquatic ecosystems. Further investigation, often involving controlled laboratory experimentation, helps discern the potential impacts to the host and understand whether additional environmental stressors such as climate change, contaminants, or other anthropogenic influences will affect the disease ecology in the natural environment. Additionally, we utilize these same technologies to investigate the role of invasive species in the spread of diseases. Through field investigation supplemented by laboratory based research, we are able to study emerging pathogens carried by invasive species and increase our scope of understanding of the health related impacts of these species to wildlife, domestic animals and humans.

Filter Total Items: 17
Date published: April 3, 2019
Status: Active

An ecosystem approach to assessing unconventional oil and gas impacts in aquatic ecosystems

The development of unconventional oil and gas (UOG) technology promises economic, societal and national security benefits.  However, technological developments in this field have rapidly outpaced scientific studies on potential environmental effects.  The effects of accidental UOG-related spills on environmental health are not adequately characterized, often occur in already ecological...

Date published: March 29, 2019
Status: Active

Assessing the effects of chloride exposure on aquatic organisms

Increased salinization of freshwater systems is a growing concern, and can be attributed to a variety of factors including climate change, land-use change, agricultural practices, road de-icing, and brines released from fossil fuel extraction.  Effects of increased salinization on aquatic organisms is little understood and may be vastly different among species and among different life stages...

Date published: February 26, 2019
Status: Active

Avian influenza virus in the aquatic environment: Surveillance in waterfowl habitat on the Delmarva Peninsula.

Avian influenza virus in the aquatic environment: Surveillance in waterfowl habitat on the Delmarva Peninsula.

Date published: November 29, 2018
Status: Active

Human and Ecological Health Impacts Associated with Water Reuse and Conservation Practices

Human and Ecological Health Impacts Associated with Water Reuse and Conservation Practices

Date published: November 29, 2018
Status: Completed

Molecular characterization of unknown virus isolated from the introduced species, the Northern snake head (Channa argus), present in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed

Molecular characterization of unknown virus isolated from the introduced species, the Northern snake head (Channa argus), present in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed

Date published: November 29, 2018
Status: Active

Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals and Prevalence of Intersex in Fish Populations in New Jersey

Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals and Prevalence of Intersex in Fish Populations in New Jersey

Date published: November 13, 2018
Status: Active

Evaluating the pathogenicity and replication of a novel aquareovirus that infects the endangered fountain darter, Etheostoma fonticola

Evaluating the pathogenicity and replication of a novel aquareovirus that infects the endangered fountain darter, Etheostoma fonticola

Date published: November 9, 2018
Status: Active

Prevalence of novel, emerging hepatitis viruses in wild white suckers and their association with liver tumors in the Great Lakes region

Prevalence of novel, emerging hepatitis viruses in wild white suckers and their association with liver tumors in the Great Lakes region

Date published: November 6, 2018
Status: Active

Development of Deployable Multispectral Sensors for Monitoring

Development of Deployable Multispectral Sensors for Monitoring

Date published: October 23, 2018
Status: Active

Assessment of the immune status of wild and laboratory-maintained smallmouth bass

Deaths of young-of-year smallmouth bass in the Chesapeake Bay drainage has been noted since 2005. Studies of affected fish have found bacterial, viral and parasitic infections. Mixed infections suggest these fish are immunosuppressed. Understanding the role of specific pathogens and environmental factors that contribute to their presence is important but equally important is the understanding...

Date published: February 28, 2018
Status: Active

Disease and Environmental Stress

Disease may be caused by infectious agents, nutritional imbalances, physiological or genetically-based abnormalities, and suboptimal environmental conditions, acting either alone or in combination with other factors.  In many instances, environmental stressors may merge forces with an infectious agent or some other non-infectious factor to produce or exacerbate a state of disease.  By studying...