Researching complex gill disease in Atlantic salmon

Moredun Scientific

Moredun is helping to find ways to improve salmon gill health

Moredun Scientific’s scientists are developing experimental models of gill diseases in Atlantic salmon (pictured).

The gills of Atlantic salmon play a key role in physiological processes. Their structure enables efficient transfer between blood and the water environment, but the gills may be exposed to physical, chemical and biological insults which can impair function, and impact health and welfare and economic performance.

The term Complex Gill Disease (CGD) describes gross and microstructural changes that may be associated with a range of causes. Case studies have demonstrated gill disease associated with several species of jellyfish, phytoplankton, amoeba, bacteria and viruses.

Atlantic salmon gills showing gross lesions caused by contact with microjellyfish

Moredun Scientific uses experimental models of infectious and non-infectious gill disease to support research and commercial projects. Research projects include the EU funded “NeoGIANT” project ( to evaluate novel antimicrobials for the control of Amoebic Gill Disease and the “Zooplankton Challenge” project, a collaboration with Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC), funded by the UK Seafood Innovation Fund and supported by others such as the Sustainable Aquaculture Innovation Centre (SAIC), to develop a cnidarian jellyfish model to understand host-pathogen responses for diagnostic tests and mitigation measures.

Moredun Scientific provides aquaculture contract research services. In addition to state-of-the-art laboratories, it has access to a diverse range of aquatic facilities, including GLP-compliant testing facilities, biocontainment level 3 pathogen challenge facilities, and freshwater and seawater farms. It undertakes proof of concept and licencing regulatory studies of vaccines, therapeutics and feed additives for farmed fish. Moredun Scientific operates a Quality Management System which complies with the UK Good Laboratory Practice Regulations and VICH Good Clinical Practice Guidelines.

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