Exxon Valdez oil spill long-term herring research and monitoring program final report

Exxon Valdez Oil Spill Trustee Council
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Abstract

This study includes annual field surveys of Ichthyophonus, viral hemorrhagic septicemia virus, and erythrocytic necrosis virus in adult and juvenile Pacific herring (Clupea pallasii) in Prince William Sound, Alaska and several reference populations in Alaska, British Columbia, and Washington. Results from controlled experimental studies with Ichthyophonus indicated that: • Pacific herring could become infected after repeated feedings on simulated infected offal, • Gross external signs of ichthyophoniasis can persist for extended periods without causing direct host mortality, • A novel tool (chromogenic in situ hybridization) was developed to confirm the presence of Ichthyophonus in histological sections, • A circulating stage of Ichthyophonus was detected in the blood of infected hosts, • Ichthyophonus remains viable in a fish carcass for up to 4 weeks and remains infectious for at least 5 days post mortem, • Six distinct genetic types of Ichthyophonus were identified in different hosts throughout the world, • Tissue explant culture was confirmed to be more sensitive than qPCR for detecting low - intensity Ichthyophonus infections directly from fish tissues. Results from controlled experimental studies with viral hemorrhagic septicemia virus indicated that: • Cooler temperatures are more conducive to viral hemorrhagic septicemia epizootics in Pacific herring, • A blocking ELISA was developed to detect fish antibodies to viral hemorrhagic septicemia virus, • A more sensitive plaque neutralization test was optimized to detect herring neutralizing antibodies to viral hemorrhagic septicemia virus, • The relative susceptibility of Pacific herring to other viral hemorrhagic septicemia virus genotypes was assessed, experimental spill-over, amplification, and spill-back was demonstrated between Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) and Pacific herring, • The efficacy of homologous and heterologous DNA vaccines against viral hemorrhagic septicemia virus was demonstrated in Pacific herring. Controlled experimental studies with erythrocytic necrosis virus resulted in the development of a conventional PCR technique that is capable of the virus in the blood and the development of a quantitative PCR technique that is capable of detecting the virus in any herring tissues.

Additional publication details

Publication type Report
Publication Subtype Other Government Series
Title Exxon Valdez oil spill long-term herring research and monitoring program final report
Year Published 2019
Language English
Publisher Exxon Valdez Oil Spill Trustee Council.
Contributing office(s) Western Fisheries Research Center
Description 211 p.