The "Shrimp Immunity & Disease Control" (SI&DC) Concerted Action aims at :
* Increasing basic knowledge on penaeid immunity by creating an open collaboration network between research laboratories involved in shrimp immunology and other invertebrate immunology specialists.
* Transfer and exchange informations and results to other research domains related to the development of strategies for prophylaxis and shrimp disease control, as shrimp nutrition, reproduction, genetics, and toxicology or environment.
* Initiating new collaborative research projects.
With regard to short term application, research in immunology must be emphasized on the development of quantitative assays for evaluating and monitoring the immune state of shrimp. The establishment of regular health controls will permit to detect shrimp immunodeficiencies and so to prevent disease, but also to control and improve the environment quality, that means to develop multivariable statistical analyses at shrimp population level for prophylaxis application.
With regard to middle or long term, the identification of immune effectors and the evaluation of defence reactions could be related to genetic characterization of shrimp strains for further application in selection programs of disease-resistant shrimps.
The specific actions of the SI&DC project target the biochemical and genetical characterization of defence effectors involved and expressed in response to pathological injuries in penaeids. The programme concerns the main shrimp species aquacultured in the world and other crustacean as model for knowledge on defence systems.
* Specific goals within the overall framework can be identified :
Task 1) Non-self recognition mechanisms : Recognition proteins and role in activation of the immune responses.
Task 2) Circulating haemocytes and haematopoiesis : Morphological, antigenic and functional characterization.
Task 3) Immediate defence systems : Coagulation; Prophenoloxidase system and associated metal-binding proteins.
Task 4) Antimicrobial peptides : Biochemical characterization and antimicrobial activity studies.
Task 5) Immune genes and gene expression study : Isolation and cloning of immune genes; Expression and regulation in response to injuries.
Task 6) Establishment of health control : Development, standardization of quantitative assays; Analyses at population level; Effect of pathological, environmental, aquacultural parameters on immune responses.
* The results and knowledge obtained in the different actions will be collated through visits in the different laboratories of the network and regular workshops involving other groups specialized in shrimp genetics, nutrition, reproduction, and toxicology, environment management for the development of the programme "Shrimp Immunity & Disease Control" as an Integrated Action.