2009/719 Research exchange to the University of Edinburgh and University of Stirling
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2009/719 Research exchange to the University of Edinburgh and University of Stirling

By Barbara Nowak


The purpose of this travel grant was to conduct collaborative research to:

  • Investigate gene expression in early amoebic gill disease (AGD), including gene expression in different cell types to investigate AGD pathogenesis using metabonomics and assess further applications of metabonomics to fish health research
  • Compare Neoparamoeba perurans strains in Scotland and Tasmania
  • Develop collaborations with various UK academic staff from multiple institutions around the UK such as Centre for Environment Fisheries and Aquaculture Science, Stirling University, the University of Edinburgh, and Imperial College London.

This travel grant allowed the author to visit three salmon farms in Scotland – two Marine Harvest sites and one Scottish Salmon farm. A number of salmon were examined; however none of the farms had AGD outbreaks at the time of the visit. Collaboration was established with Marine Harvest to ensure availability of infected material from future AGD outbreaks.

The author visited Dr Jeremy Griffin at Cambridge University and Dr Jake Bundy at Imperial College London to discuss preliminary results for metabonomics from AGD infected salmon. These meetings were very fruitful, provided a lot of technical information and will most likely result in long term collaboration with Dr Jake Bundy. Preliminary results suggest that AGD infected fish can be differentiated from controls on the basis of their metabolite profile, at least in the later stages of the disease.

Future collaboration in the area of the use of immunostimulants in aquaculture was established with Dr Chris Gould and Dr Patrick Smith from Intervet Schering Plough and Prof Sandra Adams and Dr Kim Thompson from Stirling University. Dr Patrick Smith is following up similar testing of novel immunostimulants developed by University College Hospital Medical School in London. Collaboration was established with French researchers (Dr Philippe Sourd's group) investigating health of farmed Sea Bream and Sea Bass, AGD was diagnosed in some of their fish and this research was a joint presentation at EAFP conference and a publication.