Develop a mass test tool for heart disease in fish

The consortium will seek to better screen and characterize the heart health of salmon by studying specific blood biomarkers that indicate the presence of cardiomyopathies such as heart and skeletal muscle inflammation (HSMI), cardiomyopathy syndrome (CMS), and disease. pancreas (PD). Assessing diseases with great precision is difficult with current diagnostic techniques, especially when they are in their early stages.

Bringing together experts from the University of Glasgow, University of Edinburgh, Cooke Aquaculture Scotland, Life Diagnostics Ltd, Moredun Research Institute, Benchmark Genetics and the Sustainable Aquaculture Innovation Center (SAIC), the project will provide a new, simple-to-use tool for fish health professionals, easily deployable on fish farms, and brings immediate and practical benefits in disease prevention, earlier treatment, stock management and breeding for resistance to fish. diseases.

Researchers will collect and analyze salmon blood to track changes in relevant fish biomarkers at a variety of Cooke Aquaculture Scotland sites and Atlantic salmon reference strain trials over the coming months. The University of Edinburgh will assess the samples for heart disease, determine the health of the fish and provide validation data for diagnostic tests.

The tests – which should yield results in as little as 45 minutes – could help producers understand how fish are affected and inform better stock management choices, as well as identify fish with greater physiological resistance. at cardiomyopathies.

Philippe Sourd, Senior Veterinarian at Cooke Aquaculture Scotland, said: “The aquaculture industry is driven by science and as responsible salmon producers we are constantly seeking practical innovations that maximize the health and well-being of fish. Pisces. This project could provide us with the tools to perform meaningful population health screening at the pen or farm level, which will further improve our understanding of salmon heart health models.

“Obtaining real-time data, as well as reliable and accurate information on the status of our salmon stock, is a priority because it enables effective decision-making processes and early intervention to promote health, the welfare and performance of our livestock. By working with academic partners to prove the diagnostic tools, we believe this technology can benefit salmon farmers – and potentially fish farmers in general – as an essential tool to drive strategies for the health and welfare of salmon. Pisces.

The development of a non-lethal mass test system for cardiomyopathies could make a substantial difference in the face of a growing challenge in the aquaculture sector. In 2018 in Norway, CMS alone was seen as one of the biggest issues for fish farmers, with associated costs estimated at € 145 million.

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