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Fish and Wildlife Disease

Researchers bring understanding to how diseases interact with their fish and wildlife hosts.

Fish and Wildlife Disease Research Activities

Infectious disease is an important component of both aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems. Research by the USGS uses the latest tools of molecular biology and genetics to address the ecology of infectious diseases affecting both fish and wildlife. Studies include novel methods for the development of more rapid and sensitive methods for the detection and identification of pathogens and diagnosis of disease, an improved understanding of the factors controlling the epidemiology of fish and wildlife diseases, and the development of novel methods to control losses from infectious diseases, including new generation vaccines as well as predictive tools and management approaches for diseases affecting both captive and wild populations.

Rana muscosa. Photo credit: Adam R. Backlin, USGSAmphibians
Chytrid Fungus
Tadorna tadorna. Photo credit: Eric C. Palm, USGSBirds
Avian Influenza, Avian Malaria, Immunity and Climate Change, Scaley-leg Mites, Viral Genetics, West Nile Virus, Wild Bird Avian Cholera
Montastraea cavernosa with yellow blotch/band disease. Photo credit: USGSCorals
Microarray and Coral Disease
Juvenile pallid sturgeon. Photo credit: Linda Beck, Bozeman Fish Technology Center, U.S. Fish and Wildlife ServiceFish
Bacterial Kidney Disease (BKD), Cyanotoxins in Klamath Lake, Infectious Hematopoietic Necrosis Virus, Northern Snakehead and Risk of Exotic Pathogen Introduction, Pallid Sturgeon Iridovirus, Zoonotic Mycobacteriosis and Adaptive Fishery Managment, Q-PCR Detection of Bacterial Sources of Thiaminase I, Quarantine Mussels to Prevent Disease Transmission to Brook Trout, Non-Destructive Procedures for Bacteria Recovery, Trout: Pathogens and Fish Stocking Practices in National Parks, Viral Hemorrhagic Septicemia Virus, Climate Change and Fish Health
Sea otter. Photo credit: Tania Larson, USGSMammals
Brucellosis; White-tailed Deer and Chronic Wasting Disease; Influenza; Prairie Dogs, Black-footed Ferrets and Sylvatic Plague; Predicting Parasite Spread among Greater Yellowstone Elk; Sea Otters; White-Nose Syndrome (WNS), Bats
Desert tortoise with clinical signs of mycoplasmosis. Photo credit: USGSReptiles
Mycoplasmosis in Desert Tortoises
Ebonyshell Fusconaia ebena. Photo credit: Clifford E. Starliper, USGS Diagnostic Protocols
Infectious diseases are diagnosed using methods that directly or indirectly detect the infectious agent in a tissue or fluid sample. This website links to USGS protocols for the diagnosis of key fish and wildlife pathogens.
Ebonyshell Fusconaia ebena. Photo credit: Clifford E. Starliper, USGS Mollusks
Indigenous Bacteria in Mussels from Virginia Rivers, Non-Destructive Procedures for Bacteria Recovery, Bacteria from Fusconaia ebena Experiencing Die-Offs, Quarantine Mussels to Prevent Disease Transmission to Brook Trout

Related Links and References