New virus causes devastating sea star wasting disease

November 17, 2014 8:02 PM

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New virus causes devastating sea star wasting disease

Since 2013, millions of sea stars native to the Pacific coast of North America from Baja California to southern Alaska have succumbed to a mysterious wasting disease in which their limbs pull away from their bodies and their organs exude through their skin; a disease researchers say could trigger an unprecedented ecological upheaval under the waves.

Now, a researcher in Cornell’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences has identified the deadly culprit as the Sea Star Associated Densovirus (SSaDV), a type of parvovirus commonly found in invertebrates. In a study published Nov. 17 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Ian Hews...

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