Quick fish sampling for disease diagnostics: Molecular diagnostics sampling guide

Major pathogens of fish and other farmed aquatic animals include bacteria, fungi, viruses and parasites. These can lead to serious infectious diseases and losses representing one of the major limitation to sustainable aquaculture.

Routine health checks for key priority pathogens of tilapia, carp and catfish—will vary with geographies—are important to minimize the risk of their introduction, transmission and spread. On suspicion of an unknown disease during abnormal mortalities, it is routine for the investigators to collect clinical samples from moribund fish for molecular and virology diagnostics.

Molecular diagnostics are techniques used to amplify small DNA/RNA sequence(s) that are unique to a particular pathogen to ascertain their presence or absence. Virology is a branch of microbiology that study viruses and viral diseases.

WorldFish and partners developed this quick fish sampling guide for molecular and virology diagnostics. Standard specimens for general molecular and virology health evaluation include kidney, liver, spleen, brain and gills. Other tissues may be collected.

A free online training course on molecular diagnostics and virology sampling is also available via Learn.ink.


Publisher: WorldFish

Rights: Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial.


Quick fish sampling for disease diagnostics: Package of practices

Quality biological sampling is a fundamental requirement for all kinds of work on diagnosing diseases and screening for pathogens. Fish sampling requires specific techniques and skills to collect good biological samples for accurate disease diagnosis. This package of practices developed by WorldFish and partners provides advice on fish sampling protocols for routine disease diagnostics and outbreak investigations in tilapia, carp and catfish production systems. These sampling protocols provide guidance and training to project team members, researchers, resident veterinarians, extension officers and farmers tasked with collecting quality biological samples for laboratory diagnosis whenever disease outbreaks occur on farms or hatcheries. A free online introductory course on fish sampling for disease diagnostics is also available via Learn.ink.