Immunology

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Main Research Fields:

- research on the use of immunostimulants (substances that elevate the non-specific (innate) defense mechanisms of fish and increase resistance to diseases) in fish culture
- research on the immune response of genetically different common carp strains

Our main research area is the investigation of the use of immunostimulants in fish culture. In contrast to the vaccines, these substances, usually of natural origin, can enhance the innate (non-specific) immune response of fish; therefore they are effective against many kinds of pathogens. Research on the use of Chinese herbs as immunostimulants has started in 2004, in collaboration with the Freshwater Fisheries Research Centre (Wuxi, China).
Extracts of two herbs, Astragalus membranaceus and Lonicera japonica were the most effective immunostimulants.

The EU-funded EUROCARP project has been recently finished (http://eurocarp.haki.hu). The aim of the project was to develop disease and stress resistant common carp, combining quantitative, genomic and proteomic and immunological marker technologies to identify high performance strains, families and individuals.
Immunological markers against the bacterium Aeromonas hydrophila were found, which correlated well with the resistance against the disease after the infection:
phagocytic activity of the leukocytes,
plasma lysozyme activity
level of specific antibodies against the bacterium.

In 2013, an international joint research laboratory for fish immunopharmacology was established with the Freshwater Fisheries Research Centre (Wuxi, China). Main research fields of this laboratory are:
Immunomodulatory effects of Chinese Medicinal Herbs
Hepatoprotective effects of Chinese Medicinal Herbs
Anti-stress effects of Chinese Medicinal Herbs.

Projects:
Aquaculture infrastructures for excellence in European fish research (FP-7-INFRASTRUCTURES-2010-1.  Aquaexcel)
The use of herbs as immunostimulants to prevent and control fish diseases (Hungarian-Vietnamese S&T Cooperation)
Strengthening of disease resistance and growth of carp using genomic methods (NARIC MBC-HAKI cooperation project)
Effect of BT maize on water living organisms (NARIC AKK-HAKI cooperation project)

Recently completed research projects:
Reinforcement of Sustainable Aquaculture (FP7-REGPOT-2007-3, ROSA)
Provision of online blended learning VOLL learning modules for aquaculture - excellence in fish health management/fish pathology (Long Life Learning: LLP/LdV/TOI/2008/IRL – 509 PESCALEX)
- Environmental effect of foreign fish species in aquaculture (FP6 2005-SSP-5A IMPASSE)
- Stress and disease resistant common carp: combination of quantitative genetic, genomic, proteomic and immunological markers to identify strains, families and individuals of good performance and disease resistance (FP6-2004-SSP-4-022665. EUROCARP)
- Heritability of resistance in genetically different common carp variants (National R&D Office. RESICARP)
- Application of Chinese herbal medicine extracts in intensive aquaculture (National R&D Office. KINAHERB)
- Integrated farming technologies for rural development (Hungarian – South African S&T Cooperation)
-  Application of Chinese herb extracts for immunostimulation of non-specific defence mechanisms to prevent and control diseases in cultured cyprinids (Hungarian – Chinese S&T Cooperation)
- Application of herbs extracts for immunostimulation of non-specific defence mechanisms to prevent and control diseases in carp and freshwater Asian catfish (Pangasionodon hypophthalmus) (Hungarian – Vietnamese S&T Cooperation)

Most important industrial partners:

Vitafort, First Feed Producing and Distributing Company, Dabas, Hungary
Tongwei Pharmaceutical Ltd., Chengdu, China
Zhengda Poultry Ltd., Wuxi, China

Research staff:

Galina Jeney, scientific advisor (Ph.D. Dr. Habil.)
László Ardó, researcher (PhD)
Gyöngyvér Fazekas, junior researcher (Ph.D. student)
Józsefné Holp, research assistant
Lászlóné Benkõ, research assistant

 

The development of the webpage (in 4 languages) has been 
supported by the AQUAREDPOT project funded by the European Commission (FP7-316266).