Tuesday, June 20, 2017

21/06/2017: ParaFishControl, aqua feed and parasitic disease management in aquaculture

Connecting the dots between aqua feeds and the management of parasitic diseases in aquaculture

Saprolegnia infected salmon eggs.
Photo credit: (copyright) Irene De Brujin (Royal Dutch Academy of Arts and Science)
Parasitic diseases affecting fish can significantly impact aquaculture production and economic performance so in 2016, International Aquafeed published a feature discussing the aims of the European Union Horizon 2020 funded research project ParaFishControl.

The project is addressing the challenges of parasitic disease prevention and management, aimed at assuring the sustainability and competitiveness of the European aquaculture industry. Here, we catch up with the project’s latest developments.

Managing fish-parasites
One of the key goals of the strategic agenda of the European Aquaculture Technology and Innovation Platform (EATiP) is to improve fish health and welfare by increasing the understanding of host-pathogen interactions and to provide access to effective vaccines and immune-modulators.

Aligned with this ambition, ParaFishControl’s tasks are to improve understanding of fish-parasite interactions and to develop effective management tools.

Such tools include diagnostic tests, vaccines, innovative treatments, aquafeed solutions, risk maps, best practice handbooks, and management manuals for the prevention, control, and mitigation of the most harmful parasitic species affecting key European farmed fish species.

There are nine different groups of these parasites, which vary in size from tiny unicellular organisms through fungi to worms.

Research discoveries
Partners in ParaFishControl have made a number of key discoveries since the start of the project in 2015, including the potential effects of nematode worms on fish and consumer health, the role of fungal communities as suppressors of other fungi, and the discovery of a peculiar “dance-like” movement of a parasitic cnidarian.

ParaFishControl researchers have also described Thelohanellus kitauei in Europe for the first time and elucidated the fourth two-host life cycle recorded in a Thelohanellus species, that is, a parasitic myxozoan (multicellular, eukaryotic parasites).

One team of ParaFishControl researchers has comprehensively reviewed the “macrophages first” hypothesis for polarized or differential immune responses. Macrophages are part of innate (inborn/non-specific) immunity, whereas T and B lymphocytes (special types of white blood cells) are part of adaptive (acquired/specific) immunity.

The “macrophages first” hypothesis builds on the idea that initial triggers for macrophage polarization could rely on early sensing of parasites by the innate immune system, not necessarily requiring adaptive immunity.

This means that the different types of macrophages can be activated independently to fulfill their roles like causing inflammation and killing pathogens, or healing and restoring damaged tissue, which allows for a much faster reaction of the host’s immune response.

This research was led by the ParaFishControl partner University of Wageningen in the Netherlands and was published in Molecular Immunology (Wiegertjes et al. 2016; DOI: 10.1016/j.molimm.2015.09.026).

Read the full article, HERE.

The Aquaculturists
This blog is maintained by The Aquaculturists staff and is supported by the
magazine International Aquafeed which is published by
Perendale Publishers Ltd

For additional daily news from aquaculture around the world: aquaculture-news

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