Giana Bastos Gomes*
BVMed, MVMed, CertAqV
Aquatic Animal Health Specialist –The Fish Vet & PhD candidate – JCU
Diseases pose a significant risk to efficient aquaculture production (fastest growing agribusiness in the world). Forty percent of global aquaculture production lost is caused by disease. Diseases risk constrains growth and profitability of aquaculture. It also constrains humanity’s challenge of providing food security to our expanding population.
Aquaculture farms are largely located in remote areas. Diagnosis of pathogens in aquaculture facilities rely on traditional techniques (such as histopathology, PCR, microbiology) which can only be performed accurately in well-equipped laboratories. By the time results from disease tests are back to the farmers’ mass mortalities of stock may have already occurred. Moreover, there are limited reactive responses that farmers can make to save their stock. Prompt, pre-emptive and fast action is the key to success when managing disease in aquaculture. Clearly, there is real need for straight forward pathogen detection devices that detect and quantify pathogens and parasites on-farm.
This project will develop a highly sensitive point-of-care digital device that incorporates the identification and quantification of specific genetic material from aquaculture pathogens. This technology will dramatically improve the response capability of aquaculture farmers to disease risk.
Giana received the 2016 Minister and Science and Innovation Awards for Young People in Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry in Australia to develop this project.
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