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Antiviral Proteins Applied as Therapeutics in Aquaculture

Project description

Antiviral proteins against viral diseases in aquaculture

Aquaculture is the world’s fastest-growing animal production sector. The biggest global challenge to aquaculture production is infectious diseases that cause a 10 % loss of all cultured aquatic animals. Intensive fish farming augments diseases caused by bacteria, viruses, and parasites. However, few and not entirely effective vaccines are available for viral diseases in aquaculture, while there are no antiviral therapeutic treatments in unvaccinated fish. During a previous study, ERC-funded researchers identified antiviral proteins in rainbow trout nucleated red blood cells (RBCs) implicated in halting viral infections. The ERC-funded AntiVirFish project will perform a Proof of Concept of the identified antiviral molecules and assess the business opportunity.

Objective

In the last decades aquaculture seems to be the only real alternative for global fish food supply. At present, the aquaculture world production has reached 82.1 million tons worldwide representing the fastest growing animal production sector in the world. Among aquaculture species, salmonid aquaculture, trout and salmon species, are the highest-value species for global and European aquaculture. The biggest global constraint to aquaculture production is disease with an estimate of a 10% of all cultured aquatic animals lost because of infectious diseases, amounting to >10 billion USD in losses annually on a global scale. Among infectious diseases, viral outbreaks are a serious concern, since they are an impediment to the development, productivity, and profitability of fish farms. Intensive fish farming amplifies diseases caused by bacteria, viruses, and parasites, resulting in severe losses. Few vaccines are available for viral diseases in aquaculture and they are not completely effective. Moreover, up to date there are not antiviral therapeutic treatments to mitigate the outbreaks in unvaccinated fish or to diminish the percentage of losses do not covered by prophylactics vaccines. During my ERC Starting Grant our group identified a number of antiviral proteins in rainbow trout nucleated red blood cells (RBCs) implicated in halting viral infections. The OBJECTIVE of this project is to perform a Proof of Concept of the antiviral molecules previosuly identified. We will evaluate the new business opportunity of introducing a new antiviral therapeutic that decreases viral infection and related economic loss in aquaculture.

Keywords

Host institution

UNIVERSIDAD MIGUEL HERNANDEZ DE ELCHE
Net EU contribution
€ 140 000,00
Address
AVENIDA DE LA UNIVERSIDAD S-N
03202 Elche
Spain

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Region
Este Comunitat Valenciana Alicante/Alacant
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
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Total cost
No data

Beneficiaries (3)