Document Type



Virginia Institute of Marine Science

Publication Date



Mycobacteriosis is a chronic systemic disease of fishes caused by bacteria belonging to the genus Mycobacterium. The disease currently affects striped bass throughout Chesapeake Bay and prevalence is higher than 90% in certain age groups. Two recently described species, M. shottsii and M. pseudoshottsii, are the most common isolates obtained from diseased fish and are considered the primary etiologic agents. Recent indications that natural mortality (M) has become elevated in Chesapeake Bay striped bass and that mycobacteriosis may be the underlying cause, has caused concern among fishermen, fisheries managers and scientists. However, fundamental questions, such as transmission mode, duration of disease states, impacts of disease on fish movements, feeding and reproduction remain unanswered. A central unanswered question is whether the disease causes mortality. Therefore, the aim of this study was to develop new approaches for estimating the contribution of mycobacteriosis to natural mortality in the striped bass (e.g., disease-associated mortality component of M).


Submitted to: Chesapeake Bay Office, National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration Award Number: NA06NMF4570295 Award Period: 1 Sept., 2006 to 31 Dec., 2011