Ongoing | October 2021

2020 Call: Reducing the need for lethal health monitoring in trout

Project OC-2020-003

Proliferative Kidney Disease (PKD) is a deadly parasitic fish disease that is classified as reportable and that has to be monitored in Switzerland. For this purpose, 15'500 potentially healthy pre-reproductive brown trout were electrofished and euthanized since 2000 to determine their PKD status by the applicant at the Centre for Fish and Wildlife Health (FIWI) alone.

This project aims to establish an alternative, non-lethal and animal-independent monitoring method based on pathogen DNA detection from water samples (an approach also called “eDNA” – environmental DNA). By establishing sensitive and reliable technical methods, and by evaluating them in the field, we will generate spatio-temporal detection probability maps and will provide the necessary expertise and tools for our implementation partners in cantonal and federal fish health and water quality monitoring to replace current monitoring practices.

Dr Heike Schmidt-Posthaus
University of Bern

Prof. Irene Adrian-Kalchhauser
University of Bern