Viruses of Fish and Crustaceans (CRN: VIR-3182).


Dear future colleagues,

Egypt’s fish farming industry is growing rapidly. There is great potential for more growth in the fish farming industry because of the abundance of water bodies in Egypt. However, fish farming conditions are often conducive to the spread of disease. Pathogens that would normally exist in relatively low levels in wild fish populations are problematic in densely packed fish farms. Viruses causing clinical or subclinical infections of marine and freshwater fish and crustacean aquacultures have a negative impact on the economics of production and national food security.

Members of more than thirteen virus families have been identified in wild and cultured fish and crustaceans worldwide. These virus families include Adenoviridae, Herpesviridae, Rhabdoviridae, Birnaviridae, Picornaviridae, Iridoviridae, Retroviridae, Reoviridae, Togaviridae, Orthomyxoviridae, Amnoonviridae, and Nodaviridae. However, there is currently limited information about viruses infecting Egyptian fish and crustacean populations. This knowledge gap can be filled using a discovery-oriented research system. The type and spread of viruses of aquatic species in Egypt, combined with an understanding of fish and crustacean ecology and immunology, will help reduce the impact of possible outbreaks of these viruses in economically important cultured species.

During this semester, we will be discussing the physicochemical and biological properties of key viruses responsible for severe infections of marine and freshwater fish and crustaceans. However, our focus will be on how each property can help in the development of diagnostic and control tools and strategies. In other words, I will try to translate the basic aspects of virology into usable tools to help you make the Egyptian aquaculture “Bioshield” stronger. Enjoy!

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