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Pathogenesis, diagnosis and prevention of columnaris disease in cold and warm water fish

Grant number: 22/13261-6
Support Opportunities:Scholarships abroad - Research
Effective date (Start): March 30, 2023
Effective date (End): October 29, 2023
Field of knowledge:Agronomical Sciences - Fishery Resources and Fishery Engineering - Aquaculture
Principal Investigator:Fabiana Pilarski
Grantee:Fabiana Pilarski
Host Investigator: Thomas P. Loch
Host Institution: Centro de Aquicultura (CAUNESP). Universidade Estadual Paulista (UNESP). Campus de Jaboticabal. Jaboticabal , SP, Brazil
Research place: Michigan State University (MSU), United States  


Worldwide, one of the bacteria that most affects both free-living and production fish species at different temperatures, in the initial and adult stages is Flavobacterium columnare. The bacterium represents a substantial impact on fish farming, being considered one of the biggest obstacles to the development of this activity, due to its virulence potential, transmission between species, lack of licensed vaccines and high cost of treatment, which often becomes unfeasible. In Brazil, a new strain of F. columnare circulates in fish farms, which is highly virulent for both tilapia and native species. However, with the recent change in the classification of the bacterium, the four existing genetic groups were excluded and four new species of Flavobacterium were defined in their place, which caused confusion in the taxonomy of the genus. Thus, it is urgent and necessary to study the phylogeny of the strain circulating in Brazil to know which species actually occurs in Brazil and to determine its pathogenesis for production fish produced both in hot and cold waters, because only in this way is it possible to know its virulence and the development of effective columnariasis prevention and control protocols. In this way, to overcome the challenges of identifying this bacterium, this study will be carried out together with one of the greatest specialists in the diagnosis of fish diseases in the world, in which together we will be able to really identify the strain circulating in Brazil and emphasize measures to prevent columnariasis. (AU)

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