Microplastics found to Exacerbate Virus-Mediated Fish Mortality

According to the abstract of a paper to be published in the March 2023 issue of Science of The Total Environment https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S004896972208295X by researchers with Virginia Institute of Marine Science, National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), Hawaii Pacific University Center for Marine Debris Research and others “… Interaction between microplastics and environmental pathogens is poorly understood … A salmonid fish was co-exposed to virus and microplastics … Microplastics or microparticles alone were not lethal. Mortality increased significantly when fish were co-exposed to virus and microplastics … compared to virus alone … microplastics (not natural microparticulate matter) may have a significant impact on population health when presented with another stressor … we found that mortality correlated with host viral load, mild gill inflammation, immune responses, and transmission potential. We hypothesize that microplastics can compromise host tissues, allowing pathogens to bypass defenses. Further research regarding … the interplay between microplastics and infectious disease are paramount …”

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