The Horizon 2020 project ParaFishControl, which in April was granted with 7.8 million euro, has started. ParaFishControl received the highest possible score for a Horizon 2020 project, with 15/15 points. The project will increase the knowledge of parasite biology and interactions with fish hosts of commercial interest. ParaFishControl aims to improve our understanding of fish-parasite interactions and will develop innovative solutions and tools to prevent, control and mitigate the most harmful parasites which affect the main fish species farmed in Europe including Atlantic salmon, rainbow trout, common carp, turbot, European sea bass, and gilthead sea bream.
The project will develop prophylactic measures, diagnostic tools and methods to detect parasites in fish and the environment. It will develop new products and innovative strategies for the control and management of parasitic diseases. An innovative Food Safety Programme will be established to guard against the possibility of fish parasites affecting the consumer and strengthen the competitiveness and public image of European aquaculture. The consortium comprises 29 partners (20 academic and public organisations, 6 SMEs and 3 research and industrial enterprises) based in 13 European countries. The Cell Biology and Immunology group will study immune responses to parasites (oomycyte Saprolegnia and protozoan cilliate ‘white spot’) infectious to common carp. Geert Wiegertjes is coordinator of WP1 ‘Host-parasite interactions’ and part of the Steering Committee.