Workshop and training course: Molecular tracing of viral diseases in aquaculture

A workshop on Molecular tracing of viral diseases in aquaculture will be held in Montpellier

January 26 – 30 2015.



Location:       Universite de Montpellier 2, place Eugene Bataillon 34095 Montpellier France


Organizer(s): MOLTRAQ.

The EMIDA project MOLTRAQ is coming to an end and we would hereby like to share new findings and tools for molecular tracing of viral diseases in aquaculture. The primary aim of the workshop is to bring colleagues involved in molecular biology, bioinformatics and epidemiology together in order to develop strong methods for risk analysis and prevention of spread of serious diseases in aquaculture.


The workshop/course will consist of 6 sessions. Visit our program page here.

The first 2 is a workshop that will be open for stakeholders from the industry, EMIDA network, and scientists where the results of the project will be presented and discussed.

The last 4 sessions is a training course with the following key elements:

  • How to collect molecular data in aquatic animals for epidemiological use
  • Virus evolution in aquatic environment: mechanisms and implications for epidemiological models

The sessions in the course will be combined with assignments to participants bringing together epidemiologists and molecular biologists to evolve molecular epidemiological studies.

Leading scientists will be invited to present talks on molecular epidemiology and virus evolution.

Number of participants: Maximum 50  workshop sessions 1-2, and maximum 25 in course sessions 3-6. Application with background for participation needed.

Target group(s)

  • Scientists in aquatic animal health
  • Stakeholders (EMIDA, NRLs…)
  • d. students
  • Master students


General objectives

The workshop and course aims to provide participants knowledge on the molecular and genetic tools available for providing molecular epidemiological analysis and tracing of disease outbreaks in aquatic animals. In addition focus will be on virus evolution and which factors in the environment, the host and the virus that drive the evolution of viruses in aquatic environments.


Learning objectives

The participants that will have fully followed all the objectives of the workshop and the course will obtain an understanding on how to:

  • Plan and conduct a survey
  • Select and use molecular tools for epidemiological studies
  • Trace outbreaks of viral diseases
  • Understand key mechanism for virus evolution.


The major focus will be on the viral fish diseases viral hemorrhagic septicaemia (VHS), pancreas disease (PD), and koi herpes virus infection (KHV) as models, and will address rhabdoviruses, herpesviruses, nodavirus and salmonid alphaviruses in fish and molluscs.


The course will provide a forum where pre-knowledge, experience and examples will be discussed between participants, and hereby raise the awareness of pitfalls when using the various techniques.


The core elements

Virus evolution and molecular tracing



Each day will end with a short result and discussion follow-up in order to evaluate whether the participants picked up the treated core elements. Their results will be discussed. At the end of the course a questionnaire for course evaluation will be delivered to all participants.


The course material

Protocol for the hands-on exercises, PDF of power-point presentations as well as the original scientific papers describing the applied assays/techniques is included in the course binder. The supervisors will collect the generated results and provide shared data overviews to be starting point of discussions.


The course participants

In the application the course attendants will be asked to introduce themselves, their pre-experience in the laboratory and their expectations to the course in order to target the course content optimally.


Course supervisors

Jean-Christophe Avarré ,  Tatiana Vallaeys,  Michael Cieslak, Magne Aldrin, Peder Jansen , Niels Jørgen Olesen , Susie Sommer Mikkelsen , Britt Bang Jensen,  Heike Schuetze, Sven Bergmann, Laurent Bigarré , Saliha Haloumi, Tristan Renault, Alice Fusaro, Valentina Panzerin.