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Testing Laboratory Solves Mystery Disease in Fish


EMSL Analytical’s laboratory identifies microbial growth at a major university’s research laboratory that was utilizing fish and fish eggs for important research.

Cinnaminson, NJ

The medical center at a university relied on fish and fish eggs to conduct research, but they had a problem. Their supply of both of these appeared to be infected with some type of white microbial growth.

Samples of the fish, fish eggs and surrounding environment were sent to EMSL Analytical, Inc. The private laboratory was able to isolate several different fungal genera from the samples. Aphanomyces fungus, a serious fish pathogen was identified as being responsible for causing the infections in the university’s research fish.

Aphanpmyces is a type of parasitic fungi, some types infect plants and others damage fish and other marine life. To solve the mystery, the PCR laboratory at EMSL Analytical used state-of-the-art instrumentation to amplify small amounts of the fungal DNA to make a positive identification. With the culprit identified the university researchers could now work to combat the unwanted fungal parasite and continue with their research.

EMSL Analytical’s testing laboratory has access to the most advanced instrumentation and scientific expertise to handle cases like these. The expert staff was able to take an unknown contaminant and quickly and accurately provide an answer to their clients.

“Utilizing polymerase chain reaction (PCR) the laboratory amplified a few copies of a piece of DNA to generate up to millions of copies of a particular DNA sequence,” stated Joe Frasca, Senior Vice President for EMSL Analytical, Inc. “This is the same technology that crime laboratories use to identify human DNA. Utilizing this ground breaking technology to identify microbial contaminants allows for a very precise identification. In this case it allowed the university research laboratory to get back to important scientific research.”

To learn more about forensic testing or other environmental testing services please contact EMSL Analytical at (800) 220-3675, visit, or email

About EMSL Analytical, Inc.
EMSL Analytical is a nationally recognized and locally focused provider of quality food, environmental and materials testing services and products to professionals and the general public. The company has an extensive list of accreditations from leading organizations as well as state and federal regulating bodies.


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