Fish Parasitology and Immunology

Research group of Klaus Knopf
Pseudodactylogyrus bini, a gill parasite of eels. | Photo: Klaus Knopf / IGB

Pseudodactylogyrus bini, a gill parasite of eels. | Photo: Klaus Knopf / IGB

The control of diseases and parasites in aquaculture is essential to meet the requirements of animal welfare and economic production. That's why we are dealing with new, alternative ways to control pathogens and keep fish healthy.

Parasites are not only dangerous pathogens in captive fish. Introduced parasites from other continents may pose a serious threat to non-adapted endemic fish species. One of these alien parasites is the eel swim bladder nematode Anguillicola crassus. We focus on understanding how the immune system of our native eel species deals with this new parasite.

Endemic parasites, however, are found in a fascinating variety in wild fish, where they rarely attract attention as pathogens. They are integral parts of aquatic communities. Many fish parasites have complex life cycles that involve several hosts at different trophic levels, and much remains to be explored about their function in the ecosystem. We are interested to learn how these parasites could alter the role of their hosts in the aquatic food web.

Furthermore, we are using our experience in the determination of stress and immune parameters to obtain measurable evidence for the welfare of captive fish. It is our goal to provide scientific data on how to improve the husbandry conditions for fish in captivity.

Group members

Klaus Knopf

Research Group Leader
Working group
Fish Parasitology and Immunology

Viola Schöning

Technician/Lab Operator
Working group
Fish Parasitology and Immunology

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