Reference Laboratory Service - HSL

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Reference Laboratory Service

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Scientist examines a cell cuture

The Western Fisheries Research Center provides technical training and reference laboatory services for federal, state, and tribal fish health centers. Here, WFRC scientist Bill Batts examines a cell culture containing a new virus to be identified. Credit: USGS, Western Fisheries Research Center (Public domain.)

The Fish Health Section provides reference laboratory services to identify viral pathogens submitted by staff from the Northwest Indian Fisheries Commission (NWIFC) fish health laboratory. The NWIFC and other northwest Tribal entities are important clients for technical assistance related to management of Tribal hatcheries and for focused research on diseases affecting salmonids and other fishes important to tribal cultures. These services include electron microscopy, sequencing strains of known viruses for epidemiological information and identification of viruses new to science that are discovered during disease outbreaks, or more commonly, during routine surveillance efforts of fish managed by various Native American Tribes. Fish health staff at the NWIFC have been active partners with WFRC scientists in the ongoing genetic surveillance program for the fish virus infectious hematopoietic necrosis virus (IHNV) for over 20 years.