Sea star plague virus identified - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Sea star plague virus identified

Posted: Updated:

KHQ.COM- A silent killer along the Pacific Coast has decimated sea star populations from Alaska to southern California and scientists say they have isolated a virus they believe may be the cause. Scientists say Sea Star Associated Densovirus started hitting the sea star population hard in 2013, killing millions by 2014. The sea stars suffer gruesome deaths that begin with legions forming on their bodies. The diseased invertebrates arms twist in knots, and in some cases the arms will crawl in different directions until they tear away from the body and the sea stars insides spill out.

Tissue samples from sick and healthy sea stars were analyzed by an international team of researchers from more than a dozen universities, aquariums, government agencies and environmental organizations for more than a year to determine what triggered this outbreak.

Figuring out what causes marine diseases is rare. Ian Hewson, a professor of microbiology at Cornell University said, "There are 10 million viruses in a drop of seawater, so discovering the virus associated with a marine disease can be like looking for a needle in a haystack."

Researchers injected material from sick sea stars into healthy sea stars, to see if the virus would take hold and it did. Once inoculated, they died within 14 days.

The densovirus has been in the marine environment at least since 1942, but scientists are still trying to figure out how it transformed into one of the largest marine outbreaks ever recorded. Densoviruses don't usually kill their host body but the Sea Star Associated Densovirus weakens the sea stars immune system leaving it susceptible to bacterial infections, and eventually death.

Research teams from around the world are looking into environmental factors such as warming water and ocean acidification as possible factors that are making the sea stars more vulnerable to infection.





  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Coeur d'Alene Police investigating school shooting threat made on Snapchat

    Coeur d'Alene Police investigating school shooting threat made on Snapchat

    Friday, October 19 2018 1:04 AM EDT2018-10-19 05:04:39 GMT

    COEUR D'ALENE, Idaho - Coeur d'Alene Police are investigating a reported school shooting threat at Coeur d'Alene High School. A spokesperson for the district said that the threat was written on a napkin and shared  on Snapchat. It says: "CHS school shooting 10-19-18. Be ready." Police tell us that while they are still investigating whether the threat is credible, they do not believe the CHS that the note mentions is referring to Coeur d'Alene High School.

    >>

    COEUR D'ALENE, Idaho - Coeur d'Alene Police are investigating a reported school shooting threat at Coeur d'Alene High School. A spokesperson for the district said that the threat was written on a napkin and shared  on Snapchat. It says: "CHS school shooting 10-19-18. Be ready." Police tell us that while they are still investigating whether the threat is credible, they do not believe the CHS that the note mentions is referring to Coeur d'Alene High School.

    >>
  • Liberty Lake police locate suspect truck in fatal hit and run

    Liberty Lake police locate suspect truck in fatal hit and run

    Friday, October 19 2018 3:05 PM EDT2018-10-19 19:05:05 GMT

    LIBERTY LAKE, Wash. - Liberty Lake Police are searching for a suspect in a fatal hit and run crash that happened Thursday morning and are asking the public for help. At around 8:15 a.m., Liberty Lake Police and Spokane Valley Fire Department responded to Country Vista Drive and East Mission Avenue for a reported hit and run crash involving a pedestrian.

    >>

    LIBERTY LAKE, Wash. - Liberty Lake Police are searching for a suspect in a fatal hit and run crash that happened Thursday morning and are asking the public for help. At around 8:15 a.m., Liberty Lake Police and Spokane Valley Fire Department responded to Country Vista Drive and East Mission Avenue for a reported hit and run crash involving a pedestrian.

    >>
  • K9 Laslo passes away

    K9 Laslo passes away

    Friday, October 19 2018 9:21 AM EDT2018-10-19 13:21:56 GMT

    SPOKANE, Wash. - After struggling with medical issues recently, retired Spokane County Sheriff's Office K9 Laslo passed away early Friday morning.  "It is with the most heavy heart that I tell you K9 Laslo passed away this morning at 0115hrs," a post on Laslo's Facebook page said Friday morning. "There will be a piece of my heart always missing. To the best partner I ever had, R.I.P." 

    >>

    SPOKANE, Wash. - After struggling with medical issues recently, retired Spokane County Sheriff's Office K9 Laslo passed away early Friday morning.  "It is with the most heavy heart that I tell you K9 Laslo passed away this morning at 0115hrs," a post on Laslo's Facebook page said Friday morning. "There will be a piece of my heart always missing. To the best partner I ever had, R.I.P." 

    >>
HD DOPPLER 6i
/
  • Regional NewsMore>>

  • Actor Bruce Willis sells central Idaho ranch for $5.5M

    Thursday, October 18 2018 10:26 AM EDT2018-10-18 14:26:38 GMT
    realtor.comrealtor.com

    HAILEY, Idaho - Actor Bruce Willis has sold his 20-acre (8-hectare) ranch in central Idaho for $5.5 million. KTVB-TV reports in a story on Wednesday that's far below the original asking price of $15 million when the home was put up for sale in 2011. Travis Jones is a listing agent with Engel & Volkers Sun Valley who took over the job of selling the home in the small town of Hailey two years ago. 

    >>

    HAILEY, Idaho - Actor Bruce Willis has sold his 20-acre (8-hectare) ranch in central Idaho for $5.5 million. KTVB-TV reports in a story on Wednesday that's far below the original asking price of $15 million when the home was put up for sale in 2011. Travis Jones is a listing agent with Engel & Volkers Sun Valley who took over the job of selling the home in the small town of Hailey two years ago. 

    >>
  • Man arrested for DUI, threats to kill works at Kadlec, Richland hospital says

    Man arrested for DUI, threats to kill works at Kadlec, Richland hospital says

    Tuesday, October 16 2018 7:58 PM EDT2018-10-16 23:58:21 GMT

    There is new information tonight on the lock down at Kadlec in Richland Monday night, where a man threatened to kill himself and others.

    >>

    There is new information tonight on the lock down at Kadlec in Richland Monday night, where a man threatened to kill himself and others.

    >>
  • ESPN College Gameday location in Pullman set

    ESPN College Gameday location in Pullman set

    Tuesday, October 16 2018 10:23 AM EDT2018-10-16 14:23:13 GMT

    PULLMAN, Wash. - If you're planning on traveling to Pullman this Saturday to take part in the ESPN College Gameday festivities and are wondering where they will be broadcasting from, look for the giant crowd by the stadium with all of the ESPN College Gameday logos.  If you're the kind of person who likes exact intersections, then head to the corner of Stadium Way and Ferdinad's Lane. 

    >>

    PULLMAN, Wash. - If you're planning on traveling to Pullman this Saturday to take part in the ESPN College Gameday festivities and are wondering where they will be broadcasting from, look for the giant crowd by the stadium with all of the ESPN College Gameday logos.  If you're the kind of person who likes exact intersections, then head to the corner of Stadium Way and Ferdinad's Lane. 

    >>