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Building a response network to investigate potential pathogens associated with unionid mortality events

December 1, 2018

Unexplained mortality events have confounded the mussel conservation community for over 30 years. While the effects of chemical pollutants and environmental factors have been examined, few investigations have focused on the identification of potential mussel pathogens. Consequently, very little is known regarding the impact that pathogens have on freshwater mussel health, especially as they pertain to propagation efforts. There are several barriers that have hindered progress in the study of freshwater mussel disease, one of which is lack of appropriate diagnostic tools, and another is lack of guidance for field personnel regarding sampling procedures and laboratory contacts.