Nova Scotia biologist adapting COVID-19 technology to detect oyster disease – CBC

Spread of parasite becoming ‘more of a concern’ as waters warm, Rod Beresford says

Sep 19, 2023

A biologist at Cape Breton University is hoping a piece of technology used to keep people safe in the pandemic can help protect Nova Scotia’s oysters against the effects of warming waters.

Perkinsus marinus, or “dermo” disease, is a single-cell organism that has contributed to significant oyster declines in the southeastern United States. It has been detected in the northeastern U.S.

Though dermo is not yet found in Canada, researchers say that could change as ocean temperatures around the province reach record highs. This summer, biologist Rod Beresford adapted a testing technology — the same one that helped detect COVID-19 in wastewater — to monitor for the threat.

“As we see how quickly water temperatures are changing in some of these places, it’s quickly starting to become a bit more of a concern,” said Beresford.

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