What is it about?

This study examines genetic changes of a fish virus over its history in the Great Lakes, since it first appeared, revealing how it has adapted to infecting a variety of species and maintain over time.

Featured Image

Why is it important?

This work shows genetic adaptations of an RNA virus.


This fish virus suddenly appeared in the Laurentian Great Lakes, causing large mortality outbreaks in 2005 and 2006, and affecting >32 freshwater fish species. In this study, we conduct the largest whole genome sequencing analysis of VHSV-IVb to date, evaluating its evolutionary changes, comparing genomic and genetic variation, selection, and rates of sequence changes. Our overall findings indicate that the VHSV-IVb fish virus has undergone continued sequence change and a trend to lower virulence over its evolutionary history (2003 through present-day), which may facilitate its long-term persistence in fish host populations. Such evolutionary patterns characterize long-term pathogen adaptation to host populations.

Carol Stepien
Smithsonian Institution

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Genomic and immunogenic changes of Piscine novirhabdovirus (Viral Hemorrhagic Septicemia Virus) over its evolutionary history in the Laurentian Great Lakes, PLoS ONE, May 2021, PLOS, DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0232923.
You can read the full text:




The following have contributed to this page