Mycobacteriosis

  • ext_lesions.jpg
     External lesions caused by mycobacteriosis on a striped bass from Chesapeake Bay.  
  • splenic_lesions.jpg
     Internal "splenic" lesions caused by mycobacteriosis in a striped bass from Chesapeake Bay.  
  • myco_team.jpg
     Dr. David Gauthier (L) and members of the ChesMMAP program at VIMS sample striped bass from Chesapeake Bay.  
  • myco_petri.jpg
     Mycobacteriosis in a laboratory culture.  
  • dermal_lesions.jpg
     External lesions caused by mycobacteriosis on a striped bass from Chesapeake Bay. Ruler for scale.  
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VIMS scientists have discovered that a new species of bacteria is largely responsible for a disease outbreak among Chesapeake Bay striped bass. The new species, which they named Mycobacterium shottsii, is closely related to M. marinum, a species known to infect both fish and humans.

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VIMS researchers are conducting research to understand the extent and severity of mycobacteriosis in Chesapeake Bay striped bass, the environmental conditions in the Bay that influence development of the disease, and potential impacts on striped bass stocks. The VIMS effort is part of a larger cooperative study with investigators from the Fish Health Branch of the U.S. Geological Survey's Leetown Science Center in West Virginia, the Virginia Marine Resource Commission, and from institutions and agencies in Maryland.