As a prerequisite for the development of molecular detection assays we are working on expanding the database of available sequences of fish, shellfish and shrimp viruses using next generation sequencing (MySeq). Initially we are focussing on collections of Betanodaviruses, Rhabdoviruses and Infectious pancreatic necrosis virus (all RNA viruses). We are always on the look out for more isolates to sequence in this freezer virus archaeology type of approach as the modern techniques allow characterizing forgotten treasures hoarded for decades.
This work is feeding into the development of qPCR and isothermal detection formats such as RPA, RCA and LAMP for mobile pond side assays. Mobile assays have the potential to reduce time to result and therefore to support management decisions in sustainable aquaculture. Testing these novel assays in the real life setting of aquafarning is therefore an essential part of our work.
We have a fast growing collection of cell lines, which are also being characterized at the moment and we engage in pathogenesis research especially in regard to the interaction of viruses infecting salmon such as ISAV, SAV, IPNV and Betanodviruses with Sea Bream. Here we are developing approaches to analyse the responses of innate immunity and their connection to lipid metabolism, which is essential for viral morphogenesis.