Niels Jørgen Olesen

Fish diseases

The aquaculture industry is globally the fastest growing sector in animal production. However, the requisite for a sustainable aquaculture production is that diseases can be controlled and reduced.

As National and EU Reference Laboratory for Fish Diseases and OIE Reference Laboratory for VHS, the National Veterinary Institute DTU has a special obligation to contribute to research and development at a high level within the field of fish diseases.

Viral diseases in fish

Most serious fish diseases are caused by viruses. We are therefore primarily concerned with viral fish diseases, and especially with viruses within the rhabdoviridae family (VHSV, IHNV, Perch RV, SVCV, and others), but also within the alloherpesviridae (CyHV1-3, AnHV-1), birnaviridae (IPNV), orthomyxoviridae (ISAV), and iridoviridae (EHNV and ranavirus) families.

In addition, we maintain contingency on viruses within the alphaviridae, nodaviridae and reoviridae families. The Fish Diseases Group is primarily built around our international cutting edge research on viral haemorrhagic septicaemia (VHS) - a disease that is widespread in the northern hemisphere and causes significant losses for the fish farming industry.

Focus on diagnostics

The main focus of our research is the host-pathogen interactions in fish, where we cover the entire area from molecule to fish and herds. In addition, we have many assignments in terms of development and validation of diagnostic methods and diagnostic products, of which many are used as international standards. Our methods include in vivo characterization of pathogens / vaccines in fish, culturing of viruses, in cell cultures,  virus purification, immunochemical assays (ELISA, immunofluorescence, Western blotting, immunohistochemistry), development of antibodies, and many molecular techniques (PCR, real time PCR, NGS, etc. ).

We focus on the characterization of virulence markers and virulence mechanisms in vivo, in vitro, and in silico. Molecular tracing of disease outbreaks is also an important part for the understanding of the spreading  of  diseases and in the development of prophylactic initiatives.

Fish welfare

With a professorship in Aquatic Animal Diseases it is the objective of the fish diseases group to establish and be the central partner in a national platform for diseases and welfare of aquatic animals in terms of research, diagnosis, counseling, and teaching. Future research will concentrate on characterization of pathogens, molecular tracing, and disease prevention, and it will to a higher extend include the fishing industry in addition to the aquaculture industry.

Professor MSO

Niels Jørgen Olesen
Professor
DTU Vet
+45 35 88 68 31