Full time PhD student:
- Konstantinos Apostolakis 2015-2018
This project is part of the ParaFishControl project, which aims to improve the understanding of fish-parasite interactions and develop mitigating strategies. Oomycetes, better known as water moulds, are a group of microbes living primarily in aquatic and wet terrestrial environments. Many oomycetes can cause serious diseases on a wide range of organisms, such as for example plants, fish or even humans.
Saprolegnia parasitica is an oomycete that can infect and kill fresh water fish by causing a disease called saprolegniosis. Farmed salmon have become particularly susceptible to S. parasitica since the ban of the chemical which was traditionally used to control this microbe in fish farms. Currently, saprolegniosis is an emerging and serious problem for fish farming industry in Scotland and elsewhere in the world.
This project is focused in the development of a vaccine against S. parasitica, as an alternative way of controlling this pathogen in aquaculture. We aim to undertake:
DNA vaccination screenings to identify and assess potential S. parasitica molecular targets which can be exploited by the fish immune system.
A selection of these will be used for the further development of an effective vaccine against S. parasitica.
Selected molecular targets will be studied in more detail to better understand their role in infection.
This project is aiming to achieve a dual goal: by developing a new strategy to control S. parasitica, light will be shed on the yet unknown mechanisms by which this microbe infects fish.