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About Sea Lice Research Centre
The Sea Lice Research Centre is a Centre¬†for¬†Research-based Innovation¬†appointed by the Research Council Norway. The Centre is hosted by the University of Bergen¬†and started the activity in September 2011.
The Sea Lice Research Centre aims at becoming world leading on research on salmon louse and¬†related parasites. The nature of the centre will facilitate development of new methods for lice control and shorten the time from basic research to new products and tools for parasite control in the aquaculture sector to achieve a true integrated pest management in the future.
Sea lice (Lepeophtheirus salmonis and Caligus spp.) are the major pathogens affecting global salmon farming industry and have a significant impact in many areas. The annual loss has recently been estimated to be¬†more than ‚ā¨300 million and the aquaculture industry relays heavily on a few chemotherapeutants for lice control. Emerging resistance development to these drugs increase the necessity to develop new treatment methods (biological, prophylactic and drugs) and tools to avoid increased loss due to sea lice and to ensure a sustainable salmon farming industry in the future.
The current organisation of SLRC into six work packages reflects the research strategy and the overall aim to develop new sea lice control tools. In the SLRC the entire life cycle of the salmon louse is included in our research strategy to generate knowledge relevant for future lice control measures. SLRC will develop and run two infrastructure resources to facilitate the research and innovation.
An important foundation will be to generate new basic information about sea lice biology at the molecular level. This includes basic studies on the parasite itself and how the host and parasite interacts. In addition, methods and tools to facilitate development of new drugs, develop new tools for resistance monitoring, reduce attachment in infective stages, and improve host response, identification and evaluation of new targets for a future sea lice vaccine and to explore the possibilities to utilize RNAi as a novel method in lice control. By using the salmon louse genome sequence as a starting point, functional genomics methods will be utilized to identify molecular markers for drug resistance to facilitate monitoring and prolong the life time for valuable anti sea lice drugs.
The Sea Lice Research Centre (SLRC) consisting of leading scientist within the field together with the major industrial players will represent a strong consortium to develop short and long term solutions for one of the most significant problems for the salmon farming industry world-wide. This will be achieved through state of the art research in relevant fields (parasitology, molecular biology and genomics, pharmacology, host parasite interactions) and establishment of an integrated database resource for the salmon louse genome and state of the art wet-lab facilities for sea lice research. Results from the SLRC will enable an integrated control system to be established, based on key features in sea lice biology, to improve sustainability of the salmon farming industry.
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