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Welcome to Quality Improvement Studies

The Fish and Wildlife Service Aquatic Animal Health Program (FWS-AAHP), in partnership with the American Fisheries Society Fish Health Section (AFS-FHS) performs annual revisions of the Standard Procedures for Aquatic Animal Health Inspections to ensure methodologies are current and effective in determining the disease status of fish populations.

Similarly, the FWS Fish Health Center specialists review and update the National Wild Fish Health Survey Manual annually to incorporate new techniques with improved sensitivity for detecting fish pathogens in wild fish populations. The FWS-AAHP is committed to excellence in science, and often conducts Quality Improvement Studies to ensure current fish pathogen detection methods, and newly developing techniques, meet high standards. Often new literature and technologies suggest changes in sampling procedures, reagents, or assay protocols will provide improved detection of fish pathogens. Fish health specialists conduct comparative studies to ensure that proposed changes to current methodologies will produce accurate and consistent laboratory test results. Many of the FWS Fish Health Centers also conduct applied research to address specific health issues at local hatcheries, or regional information needs for restoration programs.

Completed Quality Improvement Studies
Several studies have been completed in the past few years to address disease sampling techniques, improve reagent reference material, and to validate new technologies such as quantitative PCR. Two studies are currently underway to improve sampling and testing efficiency while maintaining sensitivity.

2002 Pooling Study – Aeromonas salmonicida detection methods in naturally infected Lahontan cutthroat trout. (CaNvFHC and Lahontan NFH).
2004 Pooling Study – Yersinia ruckeri in artificially infected rainbow trout. (OFHC, USGS, and North Carolina State College)
2004 Comparative Study to validate the sensitivity of Quantitative PCR for detection of Renibacterium salmoninarum compared to the ELISA assay. (CaNvFHC). – Report in progress
2004 Field Testing of PCR Positive Control (quantified DNA) for use in Renibacterium salmoninarum Quantitative PCR. (CaNvFHC, ATCC).

In Progress and Planned Studies for 2005
2005 Pooling Study – Renibacterium salmoninarum to compare sensitivity of two assays in relationship to pool size. (CaNvFHC – in progress)
2005 Evaluation of PCR sensitivity comparing cranial tissue and spore digests.
(Bozeman FHC – in progress)
2005 DNA Extraction Efficiency (Abernathy Fish Technology Center (AFTC) and CaNv FHC)
2005 Spiked Kidney Tissue with ATCC Rs+ PCR Control (CaNv FHC and OFHC)
Quality Improvement Studies
Related Links
Abstracts

Comparative Study of the Sensitivity of Bacterial Culture of Aeromonas salmonicida from Individual and Five-fish pool Samples from Naturally Infected Lahanton Cutthroat Trout (California-Nevada Fish Health Center, 2002)

Combined use of the ASK and SHK-1 cell lines can enhance the detection of infectious salmon anemia virus (Lamar Fish Health Center, 2003)

Comparison of Individual and Pooled Sampling Methods for Detecting Bacterial Pathogens of Fish (Olympia Fish Health Center, 2004)

Comparative Study to validate the sensitivity of Quantitative PCR for detection of Renibacterium salmoninarum compared to the ELISA assay. (California-Nevada Fish Health Center, 2004 Report in progress)

Field Testing of PCR Positive Control (quantified DNA) for use in Renibacterium salmoninarum Quantitative PCR. (California-Nevada Fish Health Center, 2004 Report in progress)

Estimation of the Repeatibility and Reproducibility of Three Diagnostic Tests for Infectious Salmon Anaemia Virus (Atlantic Vet College, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Lamar Fish Health Center, NOAA)

Planned Study Designs for 2005

Comparison of Nested and Single Round Polymerase Chain Reaction Assays for Detection of Myxobolus cerebralis in Rainbow Trout (Bozman Fish Health Center)