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Herring Disease Program - Annual Project Report 2012011-E, February 1, 2010-January 31, 2021

We will investigate fish health factors that may be contributing to the failed recovery of Pacific herring populations in Prince William Sound. Field samples will provide infection and disease prevalence data from Prince William Sound and Sitka Sound to inform the age structured assessment (ASA) model, serological data will indicate the prior exposure history and future susceptibility of herring t

Temperature variation and host immunity regulate viral persistence in a salmonid host

Environmental variation has important effects on host–pathogen interactions, affecting large-scale ecological processes such as the severity and frequency of epidemics. However, less is known about how the environment interacts with host immunity to modulate virus fitness within hosts. Here, we studied the interaction between host immune responses and water temperature on the long-term persistence

Long-term shedding from fully convalesced individuals indicates that Pacific herring are a reservoir for viral hemorrhagic septicemia virus

Processes that allow viral hemorrhagic septicemia (VHS) virus to persist in the marine environment remain enigmatic, owing largely to the presence of covert and cryptic infections in marine fishes during typical sub-epizootic periods. As such, marine host reservoirs for VHS virus have not been fully demonstrated, nor have the mechanism(s) by which infected hosts contribute to virus perpetuation an

Virus shedding kinetics and unconventional virulence tradeoffs

Tradeoff theory, which postulates that virulence provides both transmission costs and benefits for pathogens, has become widely adopted by the scientific community. Although theoretical literature exploring virulence-tradeoffs is vast, empirical studies validating various assumptions still remain sparse. In particular, truncation of transmission duration as a cost of virulence has been difficult t

Differential susceptibility of Yukon River and Salish Sea stocks of Chinook salmon Oncorhynchus tshawytscha to ichthyophoniasis

Preliminary evidence suggests that Chinook salmon Oncorhynchus tshawytscha from the Yukon River may be more susceptible to Ichthyophonus sp. infections than Chinook from stocks further south. To investigate this hypothesis in a controlled environment, we experimentally challenged juvenile Chinook from the Yukon River and from the Salish Sea with Ichthyophonus sp. and evaluated mortality, infection

Effect of temperature on survival of Lost River Suckers with a natural infection of Ichthyobodo spp.

To compensate for low natural survival of endangered Lost River Suckers Deltistes luxatus, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Klamath Tribes have initiated captive rearing programs. We conducted laboratory experiments intended to determine the temperature for optimum growth of juvenile Lost River Suckers; however, due to an unanticipated infection with Ichthyobodo spp., we instead estimate

Virulence and infectivity of UC, MD and L strains of infectious hematopoietic necrosis virus (IHNV) in four populations of Columbia River Basin Chinook salmon

Infectious Hematopoietic Necrosis Virus (IHNV) infects juvenile salmonid fish in conservation hatcheries and aquaculture facilities, and in some cases, causes lethal disease. This study assesses intra-specific variation in the IHNV susceptibility of Chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha) in the Columbia River Basin (CRB), in the northwestern United States. The virulence and infectivity of IHNV

Exploration of the 2016 Yellowstone River fish kill and proliferative kidney disease in wild fish populations

Proliferative kidney disease (PKD) is an emerging disease that recently resulted in a large mortality event of salmonids in the Yellowstone River (Montana, USA). Total PKD fish mortalities in the Yellowstone River were estimated in the tens of thousands, which resulted in a multi‐week river closure and an estimated economic loss of US$500,000. This event shocked scientists, managers, and the publi

Fish Rhabdoviruses (Rhabdoviridae)

The family Rhabdoviridae currently has 18 genera accepted by the International Committee for Virus Taxonomy (ICTV), and three of those genera contain fish rhabdoviruses. In the genera Novirhabdovirus, Sprivivirus, and Perhabdovirus all viruses infect fish hosts, and there are no fish viruses in any of the other 15 rhabdovirus genera. In the overall phylogeny of the Rhabdoviridae the three fish vir

SARS-CoV-2 exposure in escaped mink, Utah, USA

In August 2020, outbreaks of coronavirus disease were confirmed on mink farms in Utah, USA. We surveyed mammals captured on and around farms for evidence of infection or exposure. Free-ranging mink, presumed domestic escapees, exhibited high antibody titers, suggesting a potential severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 transmission pathway to native wildlife.

Neither microcystin, nor nodularin, nor cylindrospermopsin directly interact with human toll-like receptors

Various stressors including temperature, environmental chemicals, and toxins can have profound impacts on immunity to pathogens. Increased eutrophication near rivers and lakes coupled with climate change are predicted to lead to increased algal blooms. Currently, the effects of cyanobacterial toxins on disease resistance in mammals is a largely unexplored area of research. Recent studies have sugg

Novel diagnostic tests for the putative agent of bacterial gill disease in Pacific razor clams (Siliqua patula)

Nuclear inclusion X (NIX) is a gamma proteobacteria that infects the nuclei of gill epithelial cells in Pacific razor clams. NIX has been associated with clam die-offs in coastal Washington. A quantitative PCR (qPCR) assay was developed to detect NIX in Pacific razor clams, and assay specificity was confirmed by chromogenic in situ hybridization (CISH). Both tests were applied to evaluate NIX infe