Oyster Herpes!

Grim Meathook Future, Seafood Edition:

The incurable, deadly virus is alarming fishing communities in Europe, where oyster herpes seems to be spreading — and could go on spreading as seas continue to warm, experts say. The virus has already killed between 20 to 100 percent of breeding Pacific oysters in some French beds in 2008, 2009, and 2010.

A new strain named Ostreid herpesvirus 1 (OsHV-1) μvar (mew-var), the virus remains dormant until water temperatures exceed 61 degrees, which U.K. waters reach in the height of summer, according to Kevin Denham of the British government's Fish Health Inspectorate.

Like the other strains of herpes that affect mollusks, OsHV-1 μvar attacks young oysters during breeding season, when the mollusks' bodies are so focused on producing sperm and eggs that the oysters have no energy to maintain an immune system, Renault said. But OsHV-1 μvar is "more virulent than strains we identified before," Renault said, adding that the virus is so efficient at killing its hosts that it can wipe out 80 percent of the oysters in a bed within a week.

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8 Responses:

  1. dr_memory says:

    I wonder at what temperate Space Herpes becomes active? Clearly we're going to need more Ice Pirates...

  2. infrogmation says:

    Maybe oyster herpes can be cured by dumping massive amounts of crude oil and Corexit into oyster beds. Worth a try, no?

  3. skington says:

    What I like about this story is that it'll make Daily Mail readers' heads explode: global warming is causing French oyster disease to spread to Britain!

  4. httf says:

    Oysterfuckers beware.

  5. baconmonkey says:

    did you really just post a photo of an oyster money shot?

  6. lafinjack says:

    Has anyone eaten a herpe'd oyster yet? This could be the next corn smut.

  7. wtfwtf_ok says:

    First the bearded clam and now pacific oysters...
    Damn you, herpes!