Aquatreck and BioDetect will work to provide better predictability of the onset of fish diseases.

Fish health companies pool expertise
to fast-track novel diagnostics method

Aquatreck and BioDetect aim to increase the predictability of the onset of fish diseases


Spain-based fish vaccine company Aquatreck Animal Health SL has signed an exclusive research agreement with BioDetect, a diagnostic laboratory based at the University of Patras in Greece, the companies have announced.

They aim to launch a series on novel diagnostic services for the aquaculture sector focusing on pathogen epidemiological mapping in the fish farm environment.

Aquatreck was formed by Irish “R&D amplifier platform” Marrinovac and Spanish company CZ Vaccines in April 2019 to fast-track innovative fish and shrimp disease prevention strategies.

The laboratory of Systems Microbiology and Applied Genomics (Biodetect) was established in 2020 and provides services to fish farmers services in the wider field of molecular diagnostics.

Research alliances

Aquatreck director Dr Panos Christofilogiannis, who has a PhD in antibiotic use in Mediterranean mariculture from Stirling University, said: “We are delighted to grow Aquatreck capacity through research alliances and we are convinced that with the addition of the BioDetect team, we will be able to provide the industry with novel insights into the epidemiology of fish pathogens and health monitoring.”

Panos Christofilogiannis: Collaboration will provide novel insights.

BioDetect director Professor George Tsiamis said: “We have developed novel methods for monitoring fish pathogens in the farm environment and we are excited to have Aquatreck as our strategic ally to fast-track the process to bring novel diagnostic services to the aquaculture industry.”

The research collaboration aims to make the epidemiological mapping of fish diseases more efficient by using novel diagnostic tools to increase the predictability of the onset of fish diseases and the improved planning of the farm vaccination plans.

In addition, it will provide an early warning system to identify emerging pathogens in the farm environment and mobilise specific research on new vaccine production for pathogen containment strategies.

Autogenous vaccines

Aquatreck focuses on providing autogenous, experimental and licensed vaccines for Atlantic salmon and other farmed species.

Its lab in Cambridge has long experience in the production of autogenous, experimental VNN-VER viral vaccines that are relevant for halibut and cod and has been doing applied research on novel Atlantic salmon pathogens like salmon gill poxvirus (SGPV), infectious spleen and kidney necrosis virus (ISKNV), Atlantic salmon calicivirus (ASPV), and piscine myocarditis virus (PMCV).

The company’s research team in Dortmund, Germany, is developing pipeline of subunit vaccine candidates against infectious pancreas necrosis virus (IPNV), viral heamorrhagic septicaemia (VHS) and salmonid alphavirus (SAV).

It has also been testing subunit vaccines against parasites, including sea lice.