USGS fish disease research is focused on developing advanced tools for rapid disease detection and control. USGS scientists are improving our understanding of the factors controlling the epidemiology of aquatic animal diseases and the impact of disease on wild fish populations.
MEAP IHNV Fish Virus Database
Database contains thousands of records of background information and genetic sequencing data for individual isolates of IHNV and includes a map interface to show geographic distribution.
MEAP VHSV Fish Virus Database
Database contains thousands of records of background information and genetic sequencing data for individual isolates of VHSV and includes a map interface to show geographic distribution.
A template database for tracking field isolates of aquatic pathogens from multiple aquatic species.
Our scientists are also investigating the effects of warming waters, drought, and invasive species on fish disease dynamics.
Aquatic Animal Health and Disease — Leetown Science center
Emerging Diseases — Leetown Science center
Fish diseases studied by the Western Fisheries Research Center:
- Bacterial Kidney Disease (BKD)
- Erythrocytic Necrosis Virus (VEN)
- Ichthyophonus hoferi
- Infectious hematopoietic necrosis (IHN)
- Nanophyetus salmincola
- Nucleospora salmonis
- Proliferative kidney disease (Tetracapsuloides bryosalmonae)
- Spring Viremia of Carp (SVC)
- Viral Erythrocytic Necrosis (VEN)
- Viral Hemorrhagic Septicemia (VHS)
- Whirling Disease
Assessing causes of mortality for endangered juvenile Lost River suckers (Deltistes luxatus) in mesocosms in Upper Klamath Lake, south-central Oregon, 2016
Infection by Nanophyetus salmincola and toxic contaminant exposure in out‐migrating steelhead from Puget Sound, Washington: Implications for early marine survival
Improved conventional PCR assay for detecting Tetracapsuloides bryosalmonae DNA in fish tissues
An epidemiological model of virus transmission in salmonid fishes of the Columbia River Basin
Virulence of a chimeric recombinant infectious haematopoietic necrosis virus expressing the spring viraemia of carp virus glycoprotein in salmonid and cyprinid fish
Detecting Renibacterium salmoninarum in wild brown trout by use of multiple organ samples and diagnostic methods
Science to support aquatic animal health
Characterization of a novel hepadnavirus in the white sucker (Catostomus commersonii) from the Great Lakes Region of the USA
The parasite Ichthyophonus sp. in Pacific herring from the coastal NE Pacific
Infectious diseases affect marine fisheries and aquaculture economics
Assessing causes of mortality for endangered juvenile Lost River suckers (Deltistes luxatus) in mesocosms in Upper Klamath Lake, south-central Oregon, 2016Executive SummaryThe recovery of endangered Lost River suckers (Deltistes luxatus) in Upper Klamath Lake, south-central Oregon, has been impeded because juveniles are not recruiting into adult spawning populations. Adult sucker populations spawn each spring but mortality of age-0 suckers during their first summer is excessively high, and recruitment of juveniles into adult populations does not occAuthorsDanielle M. Hereford, Carla M. Conway, Summer M. Burdick, Diane G. Elliott, Todd M. Perry, Amari Dolan-Caret, Alta C. Harris
Infection by Nanophyetus salmincola and toxic contaminant exposure in out‐migrating steelhead from Puget Sound, Washington: Implications for early marine survivalOut‐migrating steelhead Oncorhynchus mykiss from four Puget Sound rivers and associated marine basins of Puget Sound in Washington State were examined for the parasite, Nanophyetus salmincola in 2014 to determine whether recent trends in reduced marine survival are associated with the presence of this pathogen. A subset of steelhead from three of these river–marine basin combinations was analyzedAuthorsM.F. Chen, S. M. O'Neill, A. J. Carey, R. H. Conrad, B. A. Stewart, K. R. Snekvik, G. M. Ylitalo, Paul Hershberger
Improved conventional PCR assay for detecting Tetracapsuloides bryosalmonae DNA in fish tissuesConventional PCR is an established method to detect Tetracapsuloides bryosalmonaeDNA in fish tissues and to confirm diagnosis of proliferative kidney disease (PKD) caused by T. bryosalmonae. However, the commonly used PKX5f‐6r primers were designed with the intention of obtaining sequence information and are suboptimal for determining parasite DNA presence. A new PCR assay to detect T. bryosalmonaAuthorsPatrick R. Hutchins, Adam J. Sepulveda, Renee M. Martin, Lacey R. Hopper
An epidemiological model of virus transmission in salmonid fishes of the Columbia River BasinWe have developed a dynamic epidemiological model informed by records of viral presence and genotypes to evaluate potential transmission routes maintaining a viral pathogen in economically and culturally important anadromous fish populations. In the Columbia River Basin, infectious hematopoietic necrosis virus (IHNV) causes severe disease, predominantly in juvenile steelhead trout (Oncorhynchus myAuthorsPaige F. B. Ferguson, Rachel Breyta, Ilana L. Brito, Gael Kurath, Shannon L. LaDeau
Virulence of a chimeric recombinant infectious haematopoietic necrosis virus expressing the spring viraemia of carp virus glycoprotein in salmonid and cyprinid fishInfectious haematopoietic necrosis virus (IHNV) and spring viraemia of carp virus (SVCV) are both rhabdoviruses of fish, listed as notifiable disease agents by the World Organization for Animal Health. Recombinant rhabdoviruses with heterologous gene substitutions have been engineered to study genetic determinants and assess the potential of these recombinant viruses for vaccine development. A recAuthorsEveline Emmenegger, Stéphane Biacchesi, Emilie Mérour, Jolene. A Glenn, Alexander D. Palmer, Michel Brémont, Gael Kurath
Detecting Renibacterium salmoninarum in wild brown trout by use of multiple organ samples and diagnostic methodsRenibacterium salmoninarum, the causative agent of salmonid bacterial kidney disease (BKD), is endemic in many wild trout species in northerly regions. The aim of the present study was to determine the optimal R. salmoninarum sampling/testing strategy for wild brown trout (Salmo trutta L.) populations in Iceland. Fish were netted in a lake and multiple organs—kidney, spleen, gills, oesophagus andAuthorsS. Guomundsdottir, Lynn M. Applegate, I.O. Arnason, A. Kristmundsson, Maureen K. Purcell, Diane G. Elliott
Science to support aquatic animal healthHealthy aquatic ecosystems are home to a diversity of plants, invertebrates, fish and wildlife. Aquatic animal populations face unprecedented threats to their health and survival from climate change, water shortages, habitat alteration, invasive species and environmental contaminants. These environmental stressors can directly impact the prevalence and severity of disease in aquatic populations. FAuthorsMaureen K. Purcell, M. Camille Harris
Characterization of a novel hepadnavirus in the white sucker (Catostomus commersonii) from the Great Lakes Region of the USAThe white sucker Catostomus commersonii is a freshwater teleost often utilized as a resident sentinel. Here, we sequenced the full genome of a hepatitis B-like virus that infects white suckers from the Great Lakes Region of the USA. Dideoxysequencing confirmed the white sucker hepatitis B virus (WSHBV) has a circular genome (3542 bp) with the prototypical codon organization of hepadnaviruses. ElecAuthorsCassidy M. Hahn, Luke R. Iwanowicz, Robert S. Cornman, Carla M. Conway, James R. Winton, Vicki S. Blazer
The parasite Ichthyophonus sp. in Pacific herring from the coastal NE PacificThe protistan parasite Ichthyophonus occurred in populations of Pacific herring Clupea pallasii Valenciennes throughout coastal areas of the NE Pacific, ranging from Puget Sound, WA north to the Gulf of Alaska, AK. Infection prevalence in local Pacific herring stocks varied seasonally and annually, and a general pattern of increasing prevalence with host size and/or age persisted throughout the NEAuthorsPaul K. Hershberger, Jacob L. Gregg, Lucas M. Hart, Steve Moffitt, Richard L. Brenner, K. Stick, Eric Coonradt, E. O. Otis, Johanna J. Vollenweider, Kyle A. Garver, Jan Lovy, T.R. Meyers
Infectious diseases affect marine fisheries and aquaculture economicsSeafood is a growing part of the economy, but its economic value is diminished by marine diseases. Infectious diseases are common in the ocean, and here we tabulate 67 examples that can reduce commercial species' growth and survivorship or decrease seafood quality. These impacts seem most problematic in the stressful and crowded conditions of aquaculture, which increasingly dominates seafood produAuthorsKevin D. Lafferty, C. Drew Harvell, Jonathan M. Conrad, Carolyn S. Friedman, Michael L. Kent, Armand M. Kuris, Eric N. Powell, Daniel Rondeau, Sonja M. Saksida