Pangasius fin disease

Histopathology

Research partners from the UK and India will develop an integrated pathology training course based upon protocols established within the ISO 17025 accredited pathology laboratory at Cefas. This will combine sampling methods (dissection, fixation and transportation), histological processing and reading, and molecular characterisation of important, notifiable and emerging disease conditions relevant to farmed fish and crustacean species in Bangladesh and Malawi. Integration of histological sampling protocols (presumptive diagnostic) with molecular (confirmatory) diagnostics will be a major focus.

In Bangladesh and Malawi training will be developed for Aquatic Health Professionals (AHP) in diagnostic histopathology using novel virtual slide technologies, web interface and social media, and for farmers in disease diagnostics (e.g. app-based reporting and on-farm training to recognise clinical signs of key diseases).

A contact network of pathologists and diagnostic laboratories in India, Bangladesh, and Africa, and from other neighbour countries, will be established. Clinical leaflets on key diseases will be produced and disseminated to farmers and AHPs in hard copy and electronic formats.

Standardised protocols will lead to the production of high quality materials for further training. We will apply a novel web-based digital pathology image platform (‘histoPATHway’) which has been developed for advanced hosting and visualization of ‘virtual slides’. Virtual slides relating to known and emergent disease conditions within the partner network will be produced by UK and Indian partners and stored electronically. Scanned tissue sections, annotated by trained pathologists will be made available via website link to any remote computer. These can then be interrogated at high resolution on PC or handheld devices and linked to photographs of clinical symptoms. The online database will be used to deliver bespoke training programmes to trainee pathologists, other AHPs, and farmers for use in the field.