PCB Exposure and Disease Susceptibility

Science Center Objects

Researchers at that MMFS are experimentally determining the impacts of high PCB body burdens on the immunocompetency and disease susceptibility of Pacific herring.

Herring juvenile 103 days post-hatch.

Herring juvenile 103 days post-hatch. Larval metamorphosis to juveniles is complete. (Public domain.)

High levels of Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCB’s) occur in the Puget Sound food web, with the highest concentrations occurring in top order charismatic species such as orcas.  Unfortunately, the biological effects of high PCB body burdens are poorly investigated in most marine species.  We are experimentally determining the impacts of high PCB body burdens on the immunocompetency and disease susceptibility of Pacific herring.