A researcher’s lifelong investigation of the botulinum bacteria
Millions of juvenile salmon died mysteriously in hatcheries across the Northwest from 1979 to 1982. Bankruptcy loomed for seafood companies as fish wobbled around the hatchery tanks and then expired.
Eventually, they brought in Mel Eklund ’55, a microbiologist and pathogen expert with the National Marine Fisheries Service in Seattle. His wife, Helen, had seen a news report about the dying salmon and when she told him, Eklund got to work.
He analyzed the fish samples in his lab and discovered what he suspected: The salmon were poisoned with botulism, one of the most powerful toxins … » More …