Bass, A.L., Bateman, A.W., Connors, B.M., Staton, B.A., Rondeau, E.B., Mordecai, G.J., Teffer, A.K., Kaukinen, K.H., Li, S., Tabata, A.M., Patterson, D.A., Hinch, S.G., and Miller, K.M.

Publication Date

19 May 2022

Publication Name

Facets Journal

Thursday May 19, 2022


Recent decades have seen an increased appreciation for the role infectious diseases can play in mass mortality events across a diversity of marine taxa. At the same time many Pacific salmon populations have declined in abundance as a result of reduced marine survival. However, few studies have explicitly considered the potential role pathogens could play in these declines. Using a multi-year dataset spanning 59 pathogen taxa in Chinook and Coho salmon sampled along the British Columbia coast, we carried out an exploratory analysis to quantify evidence for associations between pathogen prevalence and cohort survival and between pathogen load and body condition. While a variety of pathogens had moderate to strong negative correlations with body condition or survival for one host species in one season, we found that Tenacibaculum maritimum and Piscine orthoreovirus had consistently negative associations with body condition in both host species and seasons and were negatively associated with survival for Chinook salmon collected in the fall and winter. Our analyses, which offer the most comprehensive examination of associations between pathogen prevalence and Pacific salmon survival to date, suggest that pathogens in Pacific salmon warrant further attention, especially those whose distribution and abundance may be influenced by anthropogenic stressors.

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