The IATS Fish Pathology Group was established in 1985 by Professor Pilar Álvarez Pellitero, with the primary aim of contributing to the improvement of farmed marine fish sanitary status by generating necessary knowledge for the development of control and prophylactic measures. Since then, many research projects (with Spanish and European funding) have resulted in an overview of the most important pathogens and their impact on the main marine fish species cultured in Spanish waters: mullets, turbot (Scophthalmus maximus), European sea bass (Dicentrarchus labrax), and gilthead sea bream (Sparus aurata).
Our research deals mainly with parasites and fungi. Nevertheless, the study of other fish pathogens (bacteria, viruses) is broached through collaborative efforts with other research groups in Spain and Europe.
MAIN RESEARCH LINES
The Fish Pathology Group is specially focused on studies involving fish infections by Myxozoa, Coccidia, Microsporidia, Monogenea and Scuticociliatidia parasites. Specifically, we have been involved in several National and International research programs dealing with pathological, epidemiological, and immunological aspects of these fish parasitoses. Aspects like in vitro cultivation and antigenic characterisation of the parasites, evaluation and modulation of fish innate and adaptive immune responses, or histopathology and pathogenic mechanisms, are among our primary research lines. We try to keep an equilibrium between applied research (development of validated diagnostic tests, treatments, immunoprophylaxis) and more basic research (life cycles, molecular phylogeny and taxonomy). In addition, we have a broad technological offer, including diagnostic services and consulting in fish health, as well as scientific coordination in joint private-public research programmes.
We have ongoing projects and contracts studying different parasitic problems affecting cultured fish, focused on Myxozoans, Monogeneans and Microsporidians.
The most important current projects in which are involved are AGL2013-48560-R-C02-02 and the H2020 project ParaFishControl (634429), coordinated by us.
In the recent years, we have also established a research line to evaluate the effects of fish feed and additives on the immune system of fish and their susceptibility to diseases, in the framework of different European projects (AQUAMAX, AQUAEXCEL, ARRAINA) and contracts with companies like NOVUS International, SKRETTING or NOREL.
You can have a look at our publications and projects in the corresponding sections.