Scolarship code CU6.12

Monitoring of the T-related infections by Photobacterium damselae piscicida in farmed sea bass

  • Reference person
  • Host University/Institute
    Università degli Studi di Messina
  • Internship
  • Research Keywords
    Infectious diseases
    Global warming
  • Reference ERCs
    LS9_10 Veterinary and applied animal sciences
    LS8_13 Marine biology and ecology
    LS6_6 Infectious diseases
  • Reference SDGs
    GOAL 12: Responsible Consumption and Production
    GOAL 13: Climate Action
    GOAL 14: Life Below Water


SCOPE AND RESEARCH QUESTIONConsidering the continuous increase in temperature caused by climate change, the main scope of this research is monitoring and checking the incidence and the pathogenesis of Photobacteriosis (Photobacterium damselae subsp. piscicida)especially during the summer. The PhD student will study the differences of impact and progression of the pathology between vaccinated and non-vaccinated farms. In this way, the PhD student will also study the efficacy of vaccination to prevent this pathology. The characteristics of the farming systems, the water parameters and general immunological status of the fish, as well as the follow up of infections will also be evaluated.METHODOLOGYDuring the sampling on field, from the beginning of the symptoms, some estimates on mortality rate and histological analysis on different target organs, such as liver, spleen, kidney and heart, to detect the typical lesion will be made. Also immunohistochemical (IHC) and molecular analyses (PCR) that are really useful to understand and to confirm the death cause, will be performed. EXPECTED RESULTS AND IMPACTSThe main expected result is to know how the global warming can affect the management of fish farms and all those prophylactic measures to be applied to prevent possible outbreaks of common and new unusual disease. Moreover the differences in the pathogenesis of infection related to the high temperature will be also clarified.

Suggested skills:

Biological basis of diseases and disorders of aquatic organisms, theoretical and practical experience in marine biology and aquaculture research and particularly in fish pathology. Good knowledge of Italian and English languages.

Research team and environment

The Research team of Veterinary and Comparative Pathology of UNIME runs the Institute for Experimental, Comparative, Forensic and Aquatic Pathology, a facility for experimental aquatic in vivo models kept in recirculating aquaculture systems (RAS), performing histological, immunohistochemical and molecular analysis for diagnosis in aquaculture and experimental research. Our role in the project is the evaluation of the epidemiological effects of Photobacterium damselae subsp. piscicida in aquaculture farms following the global warming.