In the past, oil exposure has been associated with devastating infectious disease outbreaks in wild populations of fish. The links between these outbreaks and the oil exposure are circumstantial but they suggest an associated disruption of the immune system. Scientists at Mississippi State University hope to use state-of-the art laboratory techniques to determine if the Deepwater Horizon oil spill is affecting the health of fish populations in the Gulf of Mexico.
Classroom Activity: The Immune System
The immune system is made up of special cells, proteins, tissues and organs designed to protect our bodies from invading bacteria, microbes, viruses, toxins and even parasites. In most cases, the body’s immune system does a good job of preventing infection. But sometimes stressors can result in a weakened immune system. NGI scientists are examining how oil exposure may be affecting the immune response of several species of fish.
LINK – Fish Health and Oil Exposure
Fish Health and Oil Exposure – PDF 1.2MB