We are examining how bryozoans act as a source of a disease in salmon and trout that is increasing in prevalence and severity as a result of environmental change.
Myxozoans are a group of parasites that live inside the bodies of their hosts. They have a complex life cycle, exploiting both vertebrate and invertebrate hosts. The myxozoanTetracapsuloides bryosalmonae develops in freshwater bryozoans and causes adevastating disease called Proliferative Kidney Disease (PKD) when transmitted to salmon and trout hosts.
PKD is emerging as a serious disease in wild and farmed fish populations as a result of environmental change.
We are investigating the drivers of PKD by:
- characterising bryozoan populations and the dynamics of the myxozoan parasite within this host
- establishing risk factors associated with disease prevalence, burden in bryozoans and disease transmission to fish
A second project uses molecular tools to sample myxozoan diversity and distribution to determine what other fish diseases may be associated with myxozoans that develop in bryozoans.