Advanced Tools and Research Strategies for Parasite Control in European farmed fish


European aquaculture production provides direct employment to 80,000 people and a 3-billion € annual turnover. Parasites cause severe disease outbreaks and high economic losses in finfish aquaculture. The overarching goal of ParaFishControl is to increase the sustainability and competitiveness of European Aquaculture by improving understanding of fish-parasite interactions and by developing innovative solutions and tools for the prevention, control and mitigation of the major parasites affecting Atlantic salmon, rainbow trout, common carp, European sea bass, gilthead sea bream and turbot. To achieve these objectives, ParaFishControl brings together a multidisciplinary consortium comprising 30 partners possessing world-leading, complementary, cross-cutting expertise and drawn from public and private research organisations, and the aquaculture industry. The consortium has access to excellent research facilities, diverse biological resources including host-parasite models, and state-of-the-art vaccinology, genomic, proteomic and transcriptomic technologies. The project will: 1) generate new scientific knowledge on key fish parasites, including genomics, life-cycle, invasion strategy and host-parasite interaction data, with special emphasis on host immunity, pathogen virulence and immunomodulation, providing a scientific basis for improved prophylaxis; 2) determine the transfer of parasites between farmed and wild host populations; 3) develop a wide range of novel prophylactic measures, including vaccines and functional feeds; 4) provide a range of advanced or alternative treatments for parasitic diseases; 5) develop cost-effective, specific and sensitive diagnostic tools for key parasitic diseases; 6) assess the risk factors involved in the emergence, transmission and pathogenesis of parasitic diseases; 7) map the zoonotic risks due to fish helminths and; 8) provide a catalogue of good husbandry practices to obtain safe and high-quality fish products.

Project details

Unibo Team Leader: Marialetizia Fioravanti

Unibo involved Department/s:
Dipartimento di Scienze Mediche Veterinarie

Agencia Estatal Consejo Superior De Investigaciones Cientificas (Csic)(Spain)

Other Participants:
Apha Animal & Plant Health Agency (United Kingdom)
The University Of Stirling (Su) (United Kingdom)
Danmarks Tekniske Universitet (Denmark)
University Of Copenhagen (Denmark)
Hellenic Centre For Marine Research (Greece)
Kalliergeies Ydrovion Organismon Anonymos Etaireia (Greece)
ALMA MATER STUDIORUM - Università di Bologna (Italy)
Skretting Aquaculture Research Centre As (Norway)
Fundacion Azti (Spain)
Plant Protection Institute Centre For Agricultural Research, Hungarian Academy Of Sciences (Hungary)
Acqua azzurra Spa (Italy)
Vertebrate Antibodies Limited (United Kingdom)
Zf-Screens Bv (Netherlands)
Stiftelsen Industrilaboratoriet-The Industrial and Aquatic Laboratory (Norway)
W 42 Industrial Biotechnology Gmbh (Germany)
Aquark- Panagiotis Christofilogiannis - Ioana Tavla (Greece)
Universitetet i Bergen - University of Bergen (Norway)
Instituto Nacional De Investigacion Y Tecnologia Agraria Y Alimentaria - Inia - (Spain)
Institute of Oceanography and Fisheries (Croatia)
Aarhus Universitet (Denmark)
Inra Transfert Sa (France)
Universidade De Santiago De Compostela (Spain)
The University Of Aberdeen, University Office (United Kingdom)
AquaTT UETP Ltd (Ireland)
Università  degli Studi di UDINE (Italy)
Wu Wageningen Universiteit (Netherlands)
Ingenasa-Inmunologia Y Genetica Aplicada Sa (Spain)
Biologicke centrum AV CR, v. v. i. (Czech Republic)
Westerdijk Fungal Biodiversity Institute (Netherlands)

Total Eu Contribution: Euro (EUR) 7.800.000,00
Project Duration in months: 60
Start Date: 01/04/2015
End Date: 31/03/2020

Cordis webpage
Project website

Good health and well-being This project contributes to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN 2030 Agenda.

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 634429 This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 634429