Title: Tor a) - A review of existing and potential molecular techniques to evaluate infectious disease and parasite spread from transferred seafood into wild populations
Publisher: The International Council for the Exporation of the Sea
Publication Year: 2015
JRC N°: JRC96179
URI: http://www.ices.dk/publications/library/Pages/default.aspx?k=genetics%20mariculture%20fisheries
Type: Articles in periodicals and books
Abstract: Trade in live and frozen seafood products has increased worldwide, influencing locally depleted stocks, increasing aquaculture production to compensate for decreasing wild catches and increased consumer demand. The trade and transfer of seafood between producers, from producer to consumer, often with intermediate trading and processing posts, has increased the opportunities for the crossing of natural biological barriers (example of oyster herpes virus OsHV-1). Societal awareness has been limited, responses have been mixed and most often delayed. Experts have drawn attention before and pleaded for diagnostic tools to identify pathogens. International and national regulations point increasingly to a precautionary approach, although the current implementation lacks vision, consistency and enforcement. Traded fresh and frozen seafood products may contain a wide range of organisms associated with the target organism such as microorganisms, epifauna and parasites, many of them not listed as notifiable pathogens. Most of them have few chances to survive in the new environment or on the consumer’s plate, but some may also contain communities of harmful micro-organisms (viruses, bacteria and eukaryotic unicellular parasites) and multicellular parasites. Upon establishment in the new environment, they may entail multiple (often underestimated) consequences such as i) economic losses for fisheries and aquaculture due to infections, ii) substantial impact on local biodiversity, and iii) biosecurity issues, such as appearance of zoonoses. In the European Union a rapid alert system for food and feed is in place to exchange information for response to serious risks detected in relation to food and feed. In its preliminary annual report for 2014 (http://ec.europa.eu/food/safety/rasff/index_en.htm) pathogenic micro-organisms present by far the highest number of notifications (some 782 notifications), followed by pesticide residues (435 notifications) and mycotoxins (383 notifications). In terms of product categories, fish and fish products figure with 323 notifications second behind fruits and vegetables (620 notifications). Yet, despite the scale of the seafood business and the threat to humans, the inventory and monitoring of these biological hitchhikers is at best incomplete, and therefore merits close scrutiny. Moreover, the continuously expanding worldwide seafood trade enforces infection risks throughout the supply chain. Diagnostic tools represent an effective approach to map and manage transfers as has been proven with infectious diseases of man, farm animals and crops. Current DNA based molecular techniques represent potentially cost-effective and accurate approaches for routine screening of harmful organisms in seafood, but few of them have been implemented in seafood. Hence, this review of existing and potentially applicable genetic and genomic methods for infectious disease and parasite spread in seafood may be equally useful for policy decisions on animal health as for managers in assessing the risks from trade for indigenous populations .
JRC Directorate:Space, Security and Migration

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