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Top News: Ecologists Track Deadly Fish Virus

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  • Subject: Top News: Ecologists Track Deadly Fish Virus
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  • Date: Wed, 20 Sep 2017 21:13:06 +0000
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Sustainable City Network

September 20, 2017


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Ecologists Track Deadly Fish Virus in Pacific Northwest

Modeling Reveals Pathways of IHNV in Steelhead Trout

By the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies

Read this article

Looking for signs that this steelhead trout was exposed to IHNV.

Pacific salmon and trout are vulnerable to infectious hematopoietic necrosis virus (IHNV), a pathogen that can be lethal to juvenile fish. A recent Ecology and Evolution study is the first to explore how IHNV spreads among juvenile hatchery-raised fish in the Pacific Northwest, where high rates of infection and mortality can occur.

Cary Institute disease ecologist and coauthor Shannon LaDeau explains, "IHNV is the most significant viral pathogen of Pacific salmon and trout in North America and has likely been present in Pacific salmon for thousands of years. However, ecosystem alterations and human activities have impacted its spread, especially in cultured fish populations."

Steelhead trout and Chinook salmon, the most abundant IHNV-susceptible species in the Columbia River Basin and adjacent coastal rivers, were the focus of the study. There are extensive state, federal, and tribal hatchery programs that rear these species to help rebuild wild stock and mitigate loss of habitat due to activities such as hydroelectric power generation.


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