The VIMS Shellfish Pathology Laboratory studies the diseases of commercially important molluscs like oysters and clams. Diseases such as Dermo and MSX in oysters, and QPX in clams, continue to impact fisheries and aquaculture industries for these species. The laboratory has a long-standing advisory mandate to provide guidance concerning these diseases to the Virginia Marine Resources Commission. The Shellfish Pathology Laboratory also plays a prominent international role in shellfish health management as the World Organization for Animal Health Reference Laboratory for haplosporidiosis (a category of disease including MSX) and perkinsosis (which includes Dermo). Development and evaluation of diagnostic assays for these diseases, and training of students and researchers from around the world in these methods, have been activities central to this role.
Principal investigator: Dr. Ryan Carnegie