October 10, 2023


Ireland-based researchers exploring rapid diagnosis of fish disease get funding




Researchers in Ireland, who are focused on technology for the rapid diagnosis of fish disease on aquaculture sites, have been awarded Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) funding.


A team led by Dr. Niall Maloney of the Atlantic Technological University (ATU) and Prof Enda McGlynn of Dublin City University (DCU) is working with Catherine McManus of Mowi Ireland on the project.


"Current methods for the diagnosis of pathogens in aquaculture are time-consuming and are carried out in laboratories that are sometimes far from farm sites," Dr. Maloney said. "By developing technology for use directly at the farm site, we can reduce sample to answer times and ensure more timely and appropriate disease management practices can be implemented."


The team said it will develop a test that works in a similar fashion to the COVID-19 tests that were used in homes and workplaces throughout the pandemic, but with some modifications.


Oxide nanostructures, which are thin and narrow, will be grown on the paper used in these tests in Prof McGlynn's laboratory.


"By increasing the surface to volume ratio of the test line using these structures, it is hoped that assay performance can be improved by providing a larger area for the capture of pathogens," the researchers stated. "A portable thermal reader will also be developed to scan the assay test lines to determine the number of infectious agents present."


The support by SFI was drawn from the National Challenge Fund announced recently by Irish Higher Education Minister Simon Harris.

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