Role of non-phagocytic, lymphocyte-like haemocytes in the antiviral and antibacterial defence of shrimp

01 October 2020 → 31 July 2021
European funding: framework programme
Research disciplines
  • Natural sciences
    • Animal immunology
  • Agricultural and food sciences
    • Veterinary epidemiology
shrimp aquaculture
Project description

Shrimp (Penaeus vannamei) aquaculture industry is the fastest-growing sector of the global aquaculture is threatened worldwide by viral diseases, of which White Spot Syndrome is the most harmful and bacterial diseases, of which Vibriosis is the most damaging. Therefore, appropriate biosecurity and management measures in shrimp aquaculture are important in preventing diseases. Stimulating the immunity in shrimp is another factor that can help shrimp in surviving infectious attacks. Although the immune system of invertebrates has been well studied in insects, much less information is currently available for crustaceans. The general concept in a crustacean is that there are three types of haemocytes in the circulating haemolymph, but recent research in the laboratory of Prof. Dr Hans Nauwynck indicated that the haemocytes of P. vannamei can be separated in five distinguished subpopulations, of which two subpopulations were previously not described. The cells of these two subpopulations resemble mammal lymphocytes and are therefore designated lymphocyte-like haemocytes (LLHs). Against this background, it is paramount to investigate the immunological function of these LLHs in depth. ShrimpLLH project objectives are (i) to isolate, (ii) to characterize and (iii) to analyze the immunological functions of haemocyte subpopulations. This project will further fill the knowledge gap in shrimp immunity, more specifically, it will provide information on the immunological role of LLHs. Since this project is multidisciplinary, it will increase the competence of the candidate in advanced immunological techniques and experience in crustacean innate immunity research. The new knowledge gained in this project will facilitate to develop a technique to screen products that can aid the shrimp haemocytes in their fight against different infectious diseases. ShrimpLLH project is in line with the EU strategy for the development of sustainable aquaculture.