The main objective of the present research project is to provide knowledge of anti viral innate immunity in cultured aquatic species in order to develop new approaches for the control of viral infections. These infections are among the most destructive diseases that affect fish species in aquaculture.
The proposed research is part of a European project coordinated by Dr. T. Renault (France) (QLRT-2001-01691). We want to identify and characterise new genes induced by viral infections in fish and to investigate the in vitro properties and anti-viral activities of selected molecules. We will focus on the nodavirus infections, which produce important mortalities in the Mediterranean aquaculture of sea bass although sea bream is also susceptible and can act as carrier of this virus Performing experimental infections on sea bream with a virulent nodavirus strain, we will compare the differentially expressed genes in infected and non- infected fish.