Infectious Hematopoeitic Necrosis Virus (IHNV)

Infectious Hematopoeitic Necrosis Virus (IHNV) is a rhabdovirus threatening endangered populations of wild salmon and thwarting hatchery-led conservation efforts. The rapid evolution of this virus has resulted in host jumps between salmonid subspecies as well as the emergence of strains of higher virulence.

Approximately 1300 salmon-rearing facilities in the Northwestern US (WA, ID and OR) breed and release more than 8 types of salmonids in order to supplement endangered wild populations of salmon. A single river may have both a hatchery and a wild population of any given salmon species. Although IHNV is documented in juveniles and adults of most species, the relative importance of possible transmission pathways for dispersal and maintenance is unknown.


Northwestern rivers. Credit: Ilana Brito

We use data-model assimilation techniques to evaluate support for potential transmission routes. This work is part of a NSF/USGS EEID grant [Ecological drivers of transmission, emergence, and displacement of an aquatic virus in fish hosts. PIs Naish, Kurath, Shannon LaDeau and Purcell (Sept 2012-Aug 2015)] and involves significant effort by postdoctoral associate, Ilana Brito.


Graphical model, possible transmission pathways.

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