Advances in Fish Disease, Diagnosis & Treatment

Friday, 06 October 2006

Advances in Fish Disease, Diagnosis & Treatment
Friday, 06 October 2006 09:00 - 16:30

MIC Hotel and Conference Centre
81–103 Euston Street
United Kingdom

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"In recent years there have been significant advances in the tools and techniques available for the identification and characterisation of a wide range of fish pathogens. Benefits include new tools for research and improved speed and accuracy of diagnosis and treatment of disease outbreaks in the field. As a result, losses can be reduced and the ability to achieve and maintain approved zone status for some pathogens strengthened. This meeting will highlight advances in a range of fields, including molecular diagnostics, virology, serology, immunodiagnostics and parasitology and show how these can be applied." Dr. David Graham, Fish Diseases Unit, Stormont (Meetings Chair)


09:15 – 09:45 Registration – tea/coffee and biscuits

09:45 – 10:00 Introduction by the ChairDr David Graham Fish Diseases Unit, Belfast

10:00 – 10:30 Detection of viraemia and virus-neutralizing antibodies- complementary tools for diagnosis of salmonid alphavirus infections - Dr David Graham - Fish Diseases Unit, Belfast

10:30 – 11:00 DNA vaccination can protect Cyprinus Carpio against spring viraemia of carp virus - Dr Felicity D'Mello, The Royal Veterinary College, London, UK
DNA constructs containing the spring viraemia of carp virus (SVCV) glycoprotein (G) gene were investigated for their ability to induce protection against SVCV following injection into myofibres. A small-scale trial in goldfish showed that antibody responses in at least half the fish were induced by plasmids containing truncated G proteins or fusion G proteins. A single-dose of each plasmid mix was then used to protect carp in a large-scale trial. Following challenge, the strongest protection was observed in carp that received the full length G-gene expressed by plasmids driven by the CMV-Intron A promoter.

11:00 – 11:30 Mid-morning break: tea/coffee

11.30 –12.00 Development and use of probiotics in aquaculture - Prof. Brian Austin, Dean of the University (Science and Engineering), Professor of Microbiology Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh, Scotland
Probiotics, which are micro-organisms or their products with health benefit to the host, are increasingly used in aquaculture as a means of disease control, supplementing or even replacing the reliance on antimicrobial compounds. A wide range of microalgae, yeasts, and Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria has been evaluated. However, the mode of action of the probiotics is rarely considered, but the possibilities include competitive exclusion, antibiosis and/or by the stimulation of host immunity. Probiotics often stimulate appetite and improve nutrition by the production of vitamins, detoxification of compounds in the diet, and by the breakdown of indigestible components.

12:00-12:30 Serum pentraxins: a diagnostic technique for monitoring general health status in fish - Dr Dave Hoole, University of Keele
In aquaculture there is a need for rapid diagnostic assays to detect a reduction in general health status. Numerous alterations occur within fish in response to inflammation which include the acute phase pentraxins e.g. C reactive protein (CRP). Affinity chromatography protocols have enabled carp serum CRP to be isolated and characterised. An ELISA has been developed which is capable of detecting significant increases in CRP serum levels in cultured carp exposed to a variety of insults e.g. the bacterial pathogen Aeromonas hydrophila for 24-48 hours. The assay has the potential to be used as a monitor of fish health status.

12:30– 13:00 Temperature-driven parasite proliferation portends salmonid declines - Professor Beth Okamura, School of Biological Sciences, University of Reading

Proliferative kidney disease (PKD) is a devastating disease of salmonid fish that can result in great economic loss to trout farms and salmon hatcheries and appears to be increasing in prevalence and severity. The disease is caused by a myxozoan parasite that develops in freshwater bryozoans. Our recent investigations have revealed that increasing temperatures provoke, accelerate and prolong the production of spores that are infective to fish. Such development has little effect on bryozoan hosts. These results provide a wake-up call, predicting PKD outbreaks of increased magnitude and severity as a result of climate-driven proliferation of infective stages in invertebrate hosts.

13.00 – 14.00 Lunch

14.00 – 14:30 Immunostimulants: their use in fish health management and disease control - Dr Ian Bricknell, Marine Laboratory, Aberdeen, Scotland
The production of marine fish is hampered by infectious disease outbreaks during larval development often leading to complete wipe-outs of infected populations. The development of strategies to control pathogen load in larval systems and immunoprophylactic measures must be optimised to realise the economic production of marine fish larvae and improve the overall production. However, vaccination of larval fish is impractical due to their small size. Immunostimulation of larval fish has been proposed as a method of improving larval survival, during periods of high risk, by increasing the innate immunity of developing animals until specific immune responses can take over.

14:30 – 15:00 Does the rosette agent have relatives in Europe? - Dr Rodolphe Gozlan, CEH Dorset, Natural Environment Research Council, Winfrith Technology Centre, Dorchester UK
Twenty years after the first characterisation of the rosette agent Sphaerothecum destruens in salmonids, a close relative has been identified in an invasive cyprinid species in the UK. It is the first representative of “rosette” agent found outside the USA and the first on a non-salmonid species. This rosette-like agent has been associated with the dramatic decline of the endangered European cyprinid Leucaspius delineatus, and its rapid extinction. Here we compare morphology and a molecular observation of the different S. destruens isolates with the recent European addition and discuss the classification. Our results will feed in the UK new risk assessment policy as this intracellular eukaryotic parasite is likely to pose a substantial threat to the conservation of European fish diversity.

15:00 – 15:30 Afternoon Tea/Coffee

15:30 – 16:00 Progress in Fish Immunodiagnostics - Professor Sandra Adams, University of Stirling, Scotland
Immunological methods (e.g FAT, IHC, ELISA) enable the rapid specific detection of fish pathogens. ELISA can also be used in serology (detection of pathogen-specific antibodies in the host animal) as a means of disease surveillance, although such methods are presently underused in aquaculture. The development of Rapid Kits and multiplex tests has recently added a new dimension to fish immunodiagnostics. The former are based on lateral flow technology and enable rapid sensitive detection of pathogens without the need for specialised equipment. Multiplex assays, using Luminex technology, are also under development for the simultaneous detection and identification of a variety of fish pathogens.

16:00 – 16:30 TBA

16:30 Chairman’s summing up

ion fees

·       Standard fee - £480
·       Academic fee - £240
·       Student fee - £140
·       IBMS members fee - £240



Contact Details

Payment Instructions

    • Payment can be made by Visa or Mastercard online by secure server or by post
    • Cheques should be made payable to Euroscicon and mailed (together with a print out of the invoice which will be available at the end of the registration process) to

    Sally Wheatland
    PO Box 49717
    N20 8WH.

    Payment must be received prior to the meeting

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