SARF057: Development of improved management strategies for Red Mark Syndrome (RMS)

Start Date: 01/11/09
End Date: 01/05/2011
Main Contractor(s): University of Stirling
Other Sponsor(s):  


Collect samples (serum and tissues)

Characterisation of F. psychrophilum from clinical samples (serotyping using the new Stirling serotyping system and PFGE analysis)

Determine if the host fish develop antibodies to F. psychrophilum or/and RLO during an RMS infection

Identification of additional RLO genes in RMS and SD samples.

Development of an archive qPCR for the RLO agent

Ring trial of samples for presence of RLO agent using conventional PCR (3)

Investigate if the application of novel biological anti-bacterial treatment methods can resolve RMS lesions.

Development of management strategies.


Red Mark Syndrome is an emerging disease in the UK and the same, or very similar conditions, may also be causing significant problems in Europe and USA. The presence of the lesions contributes to the downgrading in the market value of the fish and results in significant economic losses. Despite the investment of significant funding by industry, feed and pharmaceutical companies (in areas such as vaccine formulations and field trials, and transmission experiments) no effective treatments are currently available. The aim of this project is to elucidate the role of F. psychrophilum and Rickettsia-like organisms (RLO) in RMS using serology and molecular technologies, investigate the application of novel anti-bacterial treatment methods to resolve the RMS lesions, and to develop improved management strategies. The results will be disseminated widely, and will be used to develop improved management strategies for the disease. SARF supports this work, as it will provide important evidence that will inform the management of the disease, resulting in a direct reduction in the impact and spread of RMS as well as a reduction in economic losses caused by the disease.