Bio-Toxicity Assays

The objective of Bio-Toxicity Assays is to test the toxicity of Pfiesteria and related organisms.


Fish and shellfish are exposed to cultures of Pfiesteria and related organisms, and monitored daily for changes in morbidity and mortality.

Fish are exposed to sediment and water samples from suspect locations to confirm the presence or absence of potentially toxic dinoflagellates in Virginia's waters.

In addition, we have undertaken numerous challenge studies with Aphanomyces invadans, the causative agent of the characteristic skin lesions in menhaden.

VIMS acquired its Aquatic Biomonitoring Facility from the US Army and has upgraded it to a Biosafety Level 3 facility.


Principal Investigator: Dr. Jeffrey Shields