Office of Fish and Wildlife Health and Forensics

Red Bank, NJ, United States

Office of Fish and Wildlife Health and Forensics

Red Bank, NJ, United States
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Hershberger P.K.,U.S. Geological Survey | Gregg J.L.,U.S. Geological Survey | Hart L.M.,U.S. Geological Survey | Moffitt S.,Alaska Department of Fish and Game | And 8 more authors.
Journal of Fish Diseases | Year: 2016

The protistan parasite Ichthyophonus occurred in populations of Pacific herring Clupea pallasii Valenciennes throughout coastal areas of the NE Pacific, ranging from Puget Sound, WA north to the Gulf of Alaska, AK. Infection prevalence in local Pacific herring stocks varied seasonally and annually, and a general pattern of increasing prevalence with host size and/or age persisted throughout the NE Pacific. An exception to this zoographic pattern occurred among a group of juvenile, age 1+ year Pacific herring from Cordova Harbor, AK in June 2010, which demonstrated an unusually high infection prevalence of 35%. Reasons for this anomaly were hypothesized to involve anthropogenic influences that resulted in locally elevated infection pressures. Interannual declines in infection prevalence from some populations (e.g. Lower Cook Inlet, AK; from 20-32% in 2007 to 0-3% during 2009-13) or from the largest size cohorts of other populations (e.g. Sitka Sound, AK; from 62.5% in 2007 to 19.6% in 2013) were likely a reflection of selective mortality among the infected cohorts. All available information for Ichthyophonus in the NE Pacific, including broad geographic range, low host specificity and presence in archived Pacific herring tissue samples dating to the 1980s, indicate a long-standing host-pathogen relationship. © 2016 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.


Stansley W.,Office of Fish and Wildlife Health and Forensics | Cummings M.,University of Pennsylvania | Vudathala D.,University of Pennsylvania | Murphy L.A.,University of Pennsylvania
Bulletin of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology | Year: 2014

Liver samples from red-tailed hawks (Buteo jamaicensis) and great horned owls (Bubo virginianus) were analyzed for anticoagulant rodenticides. Residues of one or more second generation anticoagulant rodenticides (SGARs) were detected in 81 % of red-tailed hawks and 82 % of great horned owls. The most frequently detected SGAR was brodifacoum, which was detected in 76 % of red-tailed hawks and 73 % of great horned owls. Bromadiolone was detected in 20 % of red-tailed hawks and 27 % of great horned owls. Difenacoum was detected in one great horned owl. No other ARs were detected. There were no significant differences between species in the frequency of detection or concentration of brodifacoum or bromadiolone. There was a marginally significant difference (p = 0.0497) between total SGAR residues in red-tailed hawks (0.117 mg/kg) and great horned owls (0.070 mg/kg). There were no seasonal differences in the frequency of detection or concentration of brodifacoum in red-tailed hawks. The data suggest that SGARs pose a significant risk of poisoning to predatory birds in New Jersey. © 2013 Springer Science+Business Media New York.


Stansley W.,Office of Fish and Wildlife Health and Forensics | Murphy L.A.,University of Pennsylvania
Bulletin of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology | Year: 2011

Lead exposure in New Jersey raptors was assessed by analyzing liver samples from carcasses obtained from wildlife rehabilitators. Samples were collected from 221 individuals representing 13 species. Concentrations were within the range of normal background exposure in 12 species. One red-tailed hawk had a liver lead concentration consistent with clinical poisoning (7.4 μg/g wet weight), which represents an incidence of 1% (1/104) in that species and 0.5% (1/221) in the overall sample. A second red-tailed hawk had a liver lead concentration consistent with subclinical exposure (2.1 μg/g wet weight). The combined incidence of elevated exposure (subclinical exposure + clinical poisoning) was 2% (2/104) in red-tailed hawks and 1% (2/221) in the overall sample. © 2011 Springer Science+Business Media, LLC.


Garver K.A.,Canadian Department of Fisheries and Oceans | Traxler G.S.,Canadian Department of Fisheries and Oceans | Hawley L.M.,Canadian Department of Fisheries and Oceans | Richard J.,Canadian Department of Fisheries and Oceans | And 3 more authors.
Diseases of Aquatic Organisms | Year: 2013

Viral haemorrhagic septicaemia virus (VHSV) is a fish pathogen found throughout the Northern Hemisphere and is capable of infecting and causing mortality in numerous marine and freshwater hosts. In the coastal waters of British Columbia, Canada, the virus has been detected for 20 yr with many occurrences of mass mortalities among populations of Pacific herring Clupea pallasii (Valenciennes) and sardine Sardinops sagax as well as detections among cultured Atlantic Salmo salar and Chinook Oncorhynchus tshawytscha salmon. We compared nucleotide sequence of the full glycoprotein (G) gene coding region (1524 nt) of 63 VHSV isolates sampled during its recorded presence from 1993 to 2011 from 6 species and a total of 29 sites. Phylogenetic analysis showed that all isolates fell into sub-lineage IVa within the major VHSV genetic group IV. Of the 63 virus isolates, there were 42 unique sequences, each of which was ephemeral, being repeatedly detected at most only 1 yr after its initial detection. Multiple sequence types were revealed during single viral outbreak events, and genetic heterogeneity was observed within isolates from individual fish. Moreover, phylogenetic analysis revealed a close genetic linkage between VHSV isolates obtained from pelagic finfish species and farmed salmonids, providing evidence for virus transmission from wild to farmed fish. © Fisheries and Oceans Canada 2013.


Lovy J.,Office of Fish and Wildlife Health and Forensics | Friend S.E.,Office of Fish and Wildlife Health and Forensics
International Journal for Parasitology: Parasites and Wildlife | Year: 2015

Anadromous alewives, Alosa pseudoharengus, have experienced significant population level declines caused by factors including habitat destruction. Alewives occur in two different life histories, anadromous and landlocked forms. The landlocked alewife evolved from ancestral anadromous populations, resulting in an exclusively freshwater and phenotypically unique form. The occurrence of parasites in a host is linked to the environment, making alewives an ideal model to compare parasitology within a single species with contrasting life histories. Currently, little information exists on the presence and impacts of parasites in these fish populations; the present study sets out to better understand coccidiosis in the threatened anadromous populations and to understand how coccidian parasites compare in both life history forms. The intestinal coccidian, Goussia ameliae n. sp., was described infecting the pyloric cecum of 76% and 86% of young-of-the-year and adult anadromous alewives, respectively, from the Maurice River, New Jersey, USA. The coccidian was found in landlocked alewife populations with a prevalence of 92% and 34% in YOY and adult fish, respectively. An analysis of the small subunit 18S ribosomal RNA gene of G. ameliae from both life history forms demonstrated that the coccidian had 100% sequence identity, confirming the same parasite species in both forms. Though genetic analysis demonstrated G. ameliae to be identical, some differences were observed in sporulation and morphology of the parasite within the two populations. The sporocysts in anadromous populations were shorter and wider, and sporulation timing differed from that of landlocked fish. These differences may either be attributed to differences in the host type or to the sporulation environment. Lastly, alewives from landlocked populations were frequently co-infected with a second coccidian species in the posterior intestine, which occurred at a lower prevalence. This species, G. alosii n. sp., was described based on morphological characters of the sporulated oocysts in fresh parasitological preparations. © 2015.


Friend S.E.,Office of Fish and Wildlife Health and Forensics | Lovy J.,Office of Fish and Wildlife Health and Forensics | Hershberger P.K.,U.S. Geological Survey
Diseases of Aquatic Organisms | Year: 2016

Surveillance for pathogens of Atlantic herring, including viral hemorrhagic septi - cemia virus (VHSV), Ichthyophonus hoferi, and hepatic and intestinal coccidians, was conducted from 2012 to 2016 in the NW Atlantic Ocean, New Jersey, USA. Neither VHSV nor I. hoferi was detected in any sample. Goussia clupearum was found in the livers of 40 to 78% of adult herring in varying parasite loads; however, associated pathological changes were negligible. Phylogenetic analysis based on small subunit 18S rRNA gene sequences placed G. clupearum most closely with other extraintestinal liver coccidia from the genus Calyptospora, though the G. clupearum isolates had a unique nucleotide insertion between 604 and 729 bp that did not occur in any other coccidian species. G. clupearum oocysts from Atlantic and Pacific herring were morphologically similar, though differences occurred in oocyst dimensions. Comparison of G. clupearum genetic sequences from Atlantic and Pacific herring revealed 4 nucleotide substitutions and 2 gaps in a 1749 bp region, indicating some divergence in the geographically separate populations. Pacific G. clupearum oocysts were not directly infective, suggesting that a heteroxenous life cycle is likely. Intestinal coccidiosis was described for the first time from juvenile and adult Atlantic herring. A novel intestinal coccidian species was detected based on morphological characteristics of exogenously sporulated oocysts. A unique feature in these oocysts was the presence of 3 long (15.1 ± 5.1 μm, mean ±SD) spiny projections on both ends of the oocyst. The novel morphology of this coccidian led us to tentatively name this parasite G. echinata n. sp. © Inter-Research 2016.


Lovy J.,Office of Fish and Wildlife Health and Forensics | Friend S.E.,Office of Fish and Wildlife Health and Forensics
Diseases of Aquatic Organisms | Year: 2014

In June 2013, a major fish kill of adult goldfish Carassius auratus occurred in Runnemede Lake, New Jersey, USA: an estimated 3000 to 5000 fish died within ~5 d. Necropsy of 4 moribund fish revealed severely pale gills, and histopathology showed type I and II fusion of the gills, diffuse necrosis of hematopoietic tissue in anterior and posterior kidney, and multifocal necrosis of the spleen. Within necrotic areas, pyknosis and enlarged nuclei with marginalized chromatin were observed. Cyprinid herpesvirus-2, the etiological agent for herpesviral hema - topoietic necrosis disease, was confirmed in all 4 fish using PCR. We assessed the efficacy of identifying herpesviral infections (viral morphogenesis and cellular ultrastructure) using transmission electron microscopy (TEM) when applied to tissues fixed in 10% neutral buffered formalin (NBF) and tissue that was removed from paraffin blocks. Both sample types could be used to detect the virus within cells at similar concentrations. Tissues reprocessed from 10% NBF contained all the known stages of viral morphogenesis including empty capsids, capsids with an inner linear concentric density, capsids with an electron-dense core, and in the cytoplasm, mature capsids containing an envelope. Paraffin-embedded tissues showed similar stages, but viral capsids with an inner linear concentric density were rare and mature enveloped virions were not observed. In previously paraffin-embedded tissues, cellular membranes were not preserved, making identification of cell types and organelles difficult, whereas membrane preservation was good in tissues processed from 10% NBF. The results demonstrated that routinely fixed and paraffin-embedded samples can be successfully utilized to diagnose herpesviruses, and formalin-fixed tissue could be used to describe viral morphogenesis by TEM, making this a useful and reliable method for dia - gnostic virology when other samples are not available. © Inter-Research 2014.


Lovy J.,Office of Fish and Wildlife Health and Forensics | Hutcheson J.M.,Office of Fish and Wildlife Health and Forensics
Journal of Parasitology | Year: 2016

River herring populations, including Alosa pseudoharengus and Alosa aestivalis, have significantly declined as a result of anthropogenic factors throughout their range in eastern North America. To better understand the health of the species, parasite surveys were conducted in several New Jersey rivers. A novel myxozoan parasite, Myxobolus mauriensis n. sp., is described infecting the cartilage of pleural ribs in young-of-the-year fish. The parasite forms large polysporic plasmodia forming pseudocysts within the ribs, which extend into the musculature. Pathology associated with infection includes costochondritis, breaks in the rib bones, and deformed bone growth. Rupture of large pseudocysts and release of mature spores are associated with myositis, dermatitis, and peritonitis. Phylogenetic analysis reveals that M. mauriensis n. sp. occurs in a long-branching clade basal to other myxobolids, grouping with several Myxobolus species from marine fish (Myxobolus groenlandicus, Myxobolus aeglefini, and Myxobolus albi). The closest identity is to M. groenlandicus, with 83% identity based on a 1,762-bp sequence of the SSU 18S rDNA. Similarly, spore morphology, tropism for cartilage, and association with marine/brackish environments are shared in these 4 species. Mature spores of M. mauriensis n. sp. are similar to other reported myxobolids, though spores are slightly wider (12.1 ± 0.44 μm) than long (11.4 ± 0.44 μm), with a length:width relationship of 0.94 (60.04), a feature not commonly described for other species of Myxobolus. Prevalence was studied by histology and fresh observation. In both Blueback Herring and Alewife, the highest infection prevalence occurred in the Maurice River at around 20%, and lower prevalence was found in the Great Egg Harbor River at around 5%. In the Delaware River, prevalence was about 2% in Blueback Herring, while the parasite was not detected in Alewife samples. © American Society of Parasitologists 2016.


PubMed | Office of Fish and Wildlife Health and Forensics
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Diseases of aquatic organisms | Year: 2016

Surveillance for pathogens of Atlantic herring, including viral hemorrhagic septicemia virus (VHSV), Ichthyophonus hoferi, and hepatic and intestinal coccidians, was conducted from 2012 to 2016 in the NW Atlantic Ocean, New Jersey, USA. Neither VHSV nor I. hoferi was detected in any sample. Goussia clupearum was found in the livers of 40 to 78% of adult herring in varying parasite loads; however, associated pathological changes were negligible. Phylogenetic analysis based on small subunit 18S rRNA gene sequences placed G. clupearum most closely with other extraintestinal liver coccidia from the genus Calyptospora, though the G. clupearum isolates had a unique nucleotide insertion between 604 and 729 bp that did not occur in any other coccidian species. G. clupearum oocysts from Atlantic and Pacific herring were morphologically similar, though differences occurred in oocyst dimensions. Comparison of G. clupearum genetic sequences from Atlantic and Pacific herring revealed 4 nucleotide substitutions and 2 gaps in a 1749 bp region, indicating some divergence in the geographically separate populations. Pacific G. clupearum oocysts were not directly infective, suggesting that a heteroxenous life cycle is likely. Intestinal coccidiosis was described for the first time from juvenile and adult Atlantic herring. A novel intestinal coccidian species was detected based on morphological characteristics of exogenously sporulated oocysts. A unique feature in these oocysts was the presence of 3 long (15.1 5.1 m, mean SD) spiny projections on both ends of the oocyst. The novel morphology of this coccidian led us to tentatively name this parasite G. echinata n. sp.

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