Workshop on “Sustainable Fish Health Control”

The Danish Fish Immunology Research Centre is organising the Workshop “Sustainable Fish Health Control” in cooperation with BangFish-Daninda and the ParaFishControl H2020 project. The event will take place on the 23rd October 2018 in Copenhagen, Denmark.
The workshop includes a series of lectures about disease occurrence in wild and aquacultured fish. The speakers will address immunological aspects of fish health focusing on interactions between host and pathogens.
This workshop is of special relevance for individuals involved in the aquaculture sector, as well as fisheries biologists, fish pathologists, fish immunologists and interested students.
The deadline for abstracts is now closed but registration for the event is still open. The registration for the workshop is free of charge.
To register to the event, please visit:
To download the programme, please click on the image below.


NEW ParaFishControl article "Hints on T cell responses in a fish-parasite model: Enteromyxum leei induces differential expression of T cell signature molecules depending on the organ and the infection status"

Hints on T cell responses in a fish-parasite model: Enteromyxum leei induces differential expression of T cell signature molecules depending on the organ and the infection status. Parasites & Vectors 11:443.

Enteromyxum leei is a myxozoan parasite that produces a slow-progressing intestinal disease. This parasite invades the paracellular space of the intestinal epithelium and progresses from the posterior to the anterior intestine. The aim of the present study was to gain insights into fish T cell responses in the gilthead sea bream-E. leei infection model using a PCR-array with 30 signature molecules for different leukocyte responses in head kidney, spleen, anterior and posterior intestine.
The PCR-array results suggest that E. leei induced migration of T cells from head kidney to intestines where TH1, CTL and TH17 profiles were activated and kept in balance by the upregulation of regulatory cytokines. These results were partially validated by the use of cross-reacting antibodies and BrdU immunostaining to monitor proliferation. Zap70 immunostaining supported the increased number of T cells in the anterior intestine detected by gene expression, but double staining with BrdU did not show active proliferation of this cell type at a local level, supporting the migration from lymphohaematopoietic tissues to the site of infection. Global analyses of the expression profiles revealed a clear separation between infected and exposed, but non-infected fish, more evident in the target organ. Exposed, non-infected animals showed an intermediate phenotype closer to the control fish.
These results evidence a clear modulation of the T cell response of gilthead sea bream upon E. leei infection. The effects occurred both at local and systemic levels, but the response was stronger and more specific at the site of infection, the intestine. Altogether, this research poses a promising basis to understand the response against this important parasite and establish effective preventive or palliative measures.


Check out all ParaFishControl publications here

NEW ParaFishControl article on Dysregulation of B Cell Activity During Proliferative Kidney Disease in Rainbow Trout

Dysregulation of B Cell Activity During Proliferative Kidney Disease in Rainbow Trout. Frontiers in Immunology.

Proliferative kidney disease (PKD) is a widespread disease caused by the endoparasite Tetracapsuloides bryosalmonae (Myxozoa: Malacosporea). Clinical disease, provoked by the proliferation of extrasporogonic parasite stages, is characterized by a chronic kidney pathology with underlying transcriptional changes indicative of altered B cell responses and dysregulated T-helper cell-like activities. Despite the relevance of PKD to European and North American salmonid aquaculture, no studies, to date, have focused on further characterizing the B cell response during the course of this disease. Thus, in this work, we have studied the behavior of diverse B cell populations in rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) naturally infected with T. bryosalmonae at different stages of preclinical and clinical disease. Our results show a clear upregulation of all trout immunoglobulins (Igs) (IgM, IgD, and IgT) demonstrated by immunohistochemistry and Western blot analysis, suggesting the alteration of diverse B cell populations that coexist in the infected kidney. Substantial changes in IgM, IgD, and IgT repertoires were also identified throughout the course of the disease further pointing to the involvement of the three Igs in PKD through what appear to be independently regulated mechanisms. Thus, our results provide strong evidence of the involvement of IgD in the humoral response to a specific pathogen for the first time in teleosts. Nevertheless, it was IgT, a fish-specific Ig isotype thought to be specialized in mucosal immunity, which seemed to play a prevailing role in the kidney response to T. bryosalmonae. We found that IgT was the main Ig coating extrasporogonic parasite stages, IgT+ B cells were the main B cell subset that proliferated in the kidney with increasing kidney pathology, and IgT was the Ig for which more significant changes in repertoire were detected. Hence, although our results demonstrate a profound dysregulation of different B cell subsets during PKD, they point to a major involvement of IgT in the immune response to the parasite. These results provide further insights into the pathology of PKD that may facilitate the future development of control strategies.

Check out all ParaFishControl publications here

European-wide study reveals negligible risk for human health of zoonotic parasitic worms in farmed fish

Press Release: June 2018

A recent study conducted by the EU Horizon 2020-funded ParaFishControl project aimed to demonstrate the absence of zoonotic parasitic worms in European farmed fish, specifically in gilthead sea bream, European sea bass, turbot, Atlantic salmon, rainbow trout and common carp. Zoonotic parasites are transmitted from animals to humans; zoonotic worms (helminths) can spread to humans when infected fish is consumed raw or partially cooked. From spring 2016 to winter 2017, more than 7,000 fish were analysed from commercial aquaculture farms throughout Europe, including Croatia, Denmark, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Norway, Spain, and Turkey. No zoonotic parasitic helminths, such as Anisakis, were found in any of the examined fish, at a confidence level of 95-99%.

This is the largest study ever conducted in Europe and the results have been even better than expected. “This is great news for European aquaculture” said Dr Miguel Ángel Pardo from AZTI Tecnalia, ParaFishControl project partner, “results indicate that consuming fish from European farms presents negligible risk for human health when it comes to zoonotic parasitic worms.”

These results are part of a larger survey of marine and freshwater farmed fish undertaken by ParaFishControl, which aims to improve our understanding of fish-parasite interactions and develop innovative solutions and tools to prevent, control and mitigate harmful parasites which affect the main fish species farmed in Europe. This effort was part of the “Fish Product Safety” work package, led by AZTI in collaboration with six other consortium members from across Europe (Spanish National Research Council, University of Bologna, Hungarian Academy of Sciences, University of Copenhagen, Hellenic Centre for Marine Research, and University of Bergen).

Dr Miguel Ángel Pardo explained the importance of these positive results, which “have led us to design more specific research to be carried out on runts as a potential parasite carrier and the feed as possible transmission vector. This will allow us to assess all the crucial aspects in the infection of fish by zoonotic parasites”.

The study itself will be published in peer-review journals and will be accessible through the ParaFishControl project website. These results are a significant indicator of the overall success of the project thus far, with the overlying goal of safe and sustainable European seafood clearly being met. The final outputs of ParaFishControl will allow European farmers to manage their risk at very low levels, which will differentiate high quality European aquaculture products from others worldwide.

For more information on the project, please watch the ParaFishControl video:

For more information and press queries, contact Marieke Reuver, AquaTT Programme Manager, email:


Fish being prepared to be sold in a fish market (unsplash).


ParaFishControl Aquaculture Industry Forum: Industry and Academia Exchange Vital Knowledge on Fighting Parasitic Diseases

Press Release: September 2017

Aquaculture industry and research representatives participated in the first ParaFishControl Industry Forum on Tuesday 5 September in Belfast, Northern Ireland. The event was part of the 18th International Conference on Diseases of Fish and Shellfish, and aimed to explore how the European aquaculture sector could benefit from the latest research in the area. The event facilitated effective knowledge exchange on the latest developments in fighting parasitic disease affecting aquaculture, between academia, industrial companies and fish farmer associations. This is an important goal of the ParaFishControl project, an EU Horizon 2020-funded research project that aims to improve our understanding of fish-parasite interactions and develop innovative solutions and tools to prevent, control and mitigate harmful parasites which affect the main fish species farmed in Europe.

ParaFishControl Industry Forum leader Dr Panos Christofilogiannis from AQUARK remarked We are excited to discuss ways to improve parasitic disease management and to quantify its economic impact to the sector. This serves as the first step to mobilise all stakeholders in a sector-wide effort to combat and manage fish parasitic diseases with novel approaches and solutions. We are confident that the ParaFishControl project knowledge outputs will contribute greatly, and the Industry Forum is the right platform to do so.” 

Dr Hamish Rodger, Global Managing Director of the FishVet Group, estimated the high annual economic impact for a variety of parasitic diseases in different countries, like sea lice in Norway (448-640 million Euros) and Scotland (40-56 million Euros), amoebic gill disease in Scottish farms (600-900K Euros for a 2000 tonne site) and cotton moulds (Saprolegnia) in Scottish aquaculture (5.5 million Euros).  Mr Niels Henriksen, Danish Aquaculture Association fish pathologist, provided insights on carp and trout aquaculture, and estimated the annual impact of parasitic diseases on European trout farming to be between 30 and 60 million Euros. The impact of parasitic diseases in Mediterranean mariculture was discussed by Mr Andreas Kyriakou, fish pathologist at SELONDA Group. All attendees agreed that a coordinated effort is required involving open communication between fish pathologists, fish farmer associations and scientists, to improve impact predictions and the use of a harmonised methodology to accurately assess the significant economic impact of parasites in aquaculture.

In the second session of the ParaFishControl Industry Forum, the latest research findings and future solutions resulting from the ParaFishControl project were presented and discussed, with a focus on their relevance to the aquaculture industry and the strategy to effectively transfer these results to applied solutions for the sector. Particularly exciting news included novel disease treatments which are planned to be ready for use in the near future, progress in the ongoing search for vaccination candidate genes and feed additives, and the expectations of further expert consultations and epidemiological investigations to be undertaken in 2018.

ParaFishControl Project Coordinator Dr Ariadna Sitjà-Bobadilla, of Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (CSIC), recognised the value of events such as the ParaFishControl Industry Forum, “which brings stakeholders from both science and industry together, highlighting the role of partnerships and collaborative approaches to instigate real and profound change. It is really exciting to witness evidence based science being recognised as being applicable by industry and subsequently being used in a real world setting with affirmative and measurable results”.

The open discussion was launched with a short presentation by Mr Andrea Fabris, FEAP Fish Health Committee, fish pathologist API, who highlighted the industry priorities on the management and impact of parasitic diseases and the interest for an effective transfer of the project results to industry, leading to concrete suggestions for future ParaFishControl activities. This discussion proved to be a thought-provoking session to round off what was a very exciting event!

To find out more about the recent research findings from ParaFishControl, please visit the project’s website:

Industry stakeholders and interested parties are invited to join the ParaFishControl LinkedIn group to follow the projects’ progress:

ParaFishControl partners and industry experts attending the ParaFishControl Industry Forum at the 18th International Conference on Diseases of Fish and Shellfish, front row, from left: Dr Birgit Oidtmann (Cefas, UK), Dr Ariadna Sitjà-Bobadilla (CSIC, ES), Prof James Bron (UoS, UK), Mr Niels Henriksen, DAA, DK); top row, from left: Dr Panos Christofilogiannis (AQUARK, GR), Mr Andreas Kyriakou (SELONDA, GR), Dr Hamish Rodger (FishVet, IE), Dr Simon Jones (DFO, CA), Dr Oswaldo Palenzuela (CSIC, ES), Dr Niels Lorenzen (DTU, DK) ©AquaTT 

For further information on the ParaFishControl project, please contact:
ParaFishControl Coordination and Management:,
ParaFishcontrol Industry Forum:
ParaFishControl Communication and Press: