Surveillance Programs

DFO NAAHLS labs conduct all the diagnostic testing for the National Aquatic Animal Health Program’s surveillance programs. There are currently three surveillance programs underway.

The VHS Great Lakes surveillance program first began in 2005 when heavy mortalities were seen in over 30 species of freshwater fish species in Lake Ontario on both sides of the Canada / USA border. With Ontario designated as VHS positive, recent efforts have focused on the lower St. Lawrence River (Lac St. François) in Quebec and the Ottawa River. From 2005 to 2013 DFO NAAHLS tested approximately 10,000 fish samples for VHSv since 2007 from the Great Lakes watershed.

The surveillance of wild Pacific Salmon in British Columbia began in 2012 to determine the health status of wild salmon for three diseases-causing pathogens: ISAv, IPNv, and IHNv and was continued in 2013. Under this initiative in 2012, DFO NAAHLS lab tested approximately 4200 samples. All samples were tested for ISAv and either IPNv or IHNv.

Since 2006, CFIA has collaborated with the BC Shellfish Growers Association to collect shellfish along the BC coast to support claims of disease freedom for trade and domestic movements. Under this initiative the DFO PBS lab has tested over 8100 shellfish for 6 pathogens of concern identified by NAAHP. In 2013, surveillance efforts have been refined to include populations experiencing unexplained mortalities and test for the potentially emerging pathogen, Oyster Herpes Virus (OsHv), in susceptible species.

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