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Bacterial and fungal diseases

Diseases caused by bacteria and fungi continue to cause significant problems for farmed and wild fish and shellfish. We try to control established diseases, through regulations and the efforts of our Fish Health Inspectorate. In addition, our scientists have an established pedigree in the expert investigation and diagnosis of emerging conditions caused by such pathogens.

Of particular concern are new and emerging diseases. Emerging diseases can include established pathogens that can change their host range or develop resistance to available treatments. One such example is Yersinia ruckeri,  causative agent of Enteric Redmouth (ERM) in rainbow trout (Oncoryhnchus mykiss). The disease is also causing increased problems in Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar L.)

We continue to lead research into fungal disease (largely caused by oomycetes: water moulds), including crayfish plague. We are also currently undertaking, on behalf of Defra, an assessment of the risk of the OIE notifiable disease epizootic ulcerative syndrome (EUS), a seasonal condition affecting wild and farmed freshwater and estuarine fish.

Through our Aquatic Product Evaluation team we work closely with major aquaculture health product producers, providing them with expert advice. We also directly test their products' safety and efficacy, using our biosecure, accredited (Good Laboratory Practice-compliant) aquarium facilities. Over the years, a number of important aquaculture medicines have gained their registrations with help from Cefas scientists.

For more about our scientific work in this area contact David Verner-Jeffreys.

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Last Modified: 27 April 2014