Northwest Fisheries Science Center

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Document Type: Journal Article
Center: NWFSC
Document ID: 993
Title: Prevalence of viral erthrocytic necrosis in Pacific herring and epizootics in Skagit Bay, Puget Sound, Washington
Author: P. K. Hershberger, N. Elder, C. A. Grady, J. L. Gregg, C. A. Pacheco, Correigh M. Greene, Casey A. Rice, T. R. Meyers
Publication Year: 2009
Journal: Journal of Aquatic Animal Health
Volume: 21
Issue: 1
Pages: 1-7

Epizootics of viral erythrocytic necrosis (VEN) occurred among juvenile Pacific herring Clupea pallasii in Skagit Bay, Puget Sound, Washington, during 20052007 and were characterized by high prevalences and intensities of cytoplasmic inclusion bodies within circulating erythrocytes. The prevalence of VEN peaked at 67% during the first epizootic in October 2005 and waned to 0% by August 2006. A second VEN epizootic occurred throughout the summer of 2007; this was characterized by disease initiation and perpetuation in the age-1, 2006 year-class, followed by involvement of the age-0, 2007 year-class shortly after the latters metamorphosis to the juvenile stage. The disease was detected in other populations of juvenile Pacific herring throughout Puget Sound and Prince William Sound, Alaska, where the prevalences and intensities typically did not correspond to those observed in Skagit Bay. The persistence and recurrence of VEN epizootics indicate that the disease is probably common among juvenile Pacific herring throughout the eastern North Pacific Ocean, and although population-level impacts probably occur they are typically covert and not easily detected.

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