Western Fisheries Research Center

Viral particles in herring red blood cells.

Viral particles in herring red blood cells.

Viral particles in herring red blood cells.

Viral particles in herring red blood cells.


August 1, 2012

The Western Fisheries Research Center located in Seattle, WA is a component of the US Geological Survey. Their research focuses on the environmental factors responsible for the creation, maintenance, and regulation of fish populations.

Since 2003, we have collaborated with them as they have attempted to isolate and identify disease causing organisms in fish populations. Over the years they have sent us a variety of samples of fish tissues prepared for transmission electron microscopy. We have used our remote access capability to have several groups of researchers view the samples to help identify possible pathogens in the samples. We have had groups from as far away as Hawaii and Georgia observing the live sessions.

Most of the samples were assumed to contain viruses as the disease agent although some were of unknown etiology. Often the viruses were of unknown morphology and sparsely spread through the tissues so multiple observers helped to identify possible virus when scanning many cells or complex tissues. The accompanying TEM images are of viral particles in herring red blood cells.