USGS Collaborative Studies

A funded collaborative project between the US Geological Survey's Fish Health Research Laboratory and VIMS' Department of Environmental and Aquatic Animal Health has provided a unique partnership with which to evaluate mycobacteriosis in striped bass as it occurs in the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries. This collaboration, directed by Dr. Chris Ottinger of the National Fish Health Research Laboratory, has been ongoing since the mid-1990s. Recognizing the widespread importance of striped bass for both recreational and commercial fisheries, collaborative ties have recently been extended to include researchers from the Maryland Department of Natura Resources and the University of Maryland.

The main objectives of these collaborative studies are to:

  1. Isolate and identify Mycobacterium species associated with the disease outbreak in striped bass.
  2. Assess the prevalence of mycobacteriosis in Virginia and Maryland waters of the Chesapeake Bay
  3. Develop and implement standardized methods of analysis to ensure comparability of data collected by the USGS, Virginia, and Maryland.
  4. Evaluate the pathogenicity of selected Mycobacterium species toward striped bass using large-scale challenge studies.
  5. Support graduate student dissertation studies directed at understanding cellular mechanisms of defense against mycobacterial infections in striped bass.

Principal Investigators:

Graduate Student Investigators:

  • Dave Gauthier