Fish Histopathology Workshop

Fish histopathology workshop is planned for Sunday before the conference. The workshop will start with the keynote speaker, Dr Jeff Wolf. The keynote presentation will be followed by a few talks by invited speakers who will each present a case study, including pathology and differential diagnoses. These presentations will focus on SKIN.

We are inviting Expressions of Interest from anyone attending (and registered for) the workshop for presentations on the organ of interest (skin). The Expression of Interest should have a brief description of the case and one picture as well as name and affiliation of the presenter. Please email yourExpression of Interest to As we are planning to digitise all slides we will need histology blocks to be sent to UK for processing by June, so once your presentation is approved you will have to post the block (or blocks), which will be returned at the workshop. We are hoping that these presentations will result in some discussion.

In the last session we will be providing an opportunity for the participants to present images of pathology of unknown origin or unidentified structures. These presentations should still include background but the focus should be on the unknown structure/feature and the talks are expected to be short. (appr. 5 minutes). They will not be included in the final workshop materials. To be able to plan the structure of the workshop and to calculate the time needed, please also send a message to Barbara Nowak if you would like to give one of these short presentations.


Barbara Nowak, Diane Eliott, Heike Schmidt-Posthaus and Patricia Noguera


Sunday September 8, 2019 (Full Day)


Faculty of Sciences, University of Porto, Department of Biology, Building FC4 (Rua do Campo alegre s/n- Via Panorâmica, 4169-007 Porto - View Map

Registration Fees

  • 80€ Early Bird
  • 90€ Standard Registration
  • 100€ Late Registration

Lunch and coffee breaks included

Note: conference registration and check-in will only be available for workshop participants on Monday September 9

Participants limit

Maximum is 80.

There is as opportunity to sponsor the workshop, if you would like further information on this opportunity please contact Joana Sousa

With the support of:

Validation of diagnostic tests for infectious diseases of aquatic animals - tips and traps

Diagnostic validation (including estimation of sensitivity and specificity) is an important prerequisite for evaluation of a test’s fitness for purpose (e.g. surveillance, confirmatory diagnosis). Workshop participants will get the latest information on validation strategies for tests such as multiplex PCR, including how best to design and report test accuracy studies in peer-reviewed publications. In the hands-on computer session, participants will have the opportunity to analyze results of test accuracy studies in aquatic animals and get guidance on the evaluation of sensitivity and specificity when the reference test is imperfect. The workshop leader is Dr. Ian Gardner (left panel) from the Atlantic Veterinary College, University of Prince Edward Island, Canada. Ian has 25 years working in the area of test validation and interpretation of test results in both individual animals and populations of animals. Dr. Peter Mohr (right panel), Leader of the Aquatic Diagnostic Capability Team at the AAHL Fish Diseases Lab at the CSIRO, Australian Animal Health Laboratory in Geelong, will co-lead the workshop providing vital insights on PCR validation from a lab perspective.

Workshop topics (9:30h – 17:30h) – participants should bring a personal computer

  • Background including the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) pathway for test validation in the context of fitness for purpose; role of OIE reference labs, reasons for failure of validation studies
  • Laboratory experiments for validation of assays including singleplex and multiplex PCR and new technologies
  • Design of studies for field validation using naturally-occurring disease, and how to get the most from experimental challenge trials, and use of reference samples of known infection status
  • Statistical guidance for test validation studies, and hands-on session for analysis of data including strategies when the reference test is imperfect
  • Reporting test validation studies following the STRADAS-aquatic guidelines
  • Accuracy of pooled vs. individual animal testing: what experiments are needed to validate pooled tests?
  • Question and answer session including discussion of participant data and other diagnostic issues


Sunday September 8, 2019 (Full Day)


Faculty of Sciences, University of Porto, Department of Biology, Building FC4 (Rua do Campo alegre s/n- Via Panorâmica, 4169-007 Porto - View Map

Registration Fees

  • 80€ Early Bird
  • 90€ Standard Registration
  • 100€ Late Registration

Lunch and coffee breaks included

Note: conference registration and check-in will only be available for workshop participants on Monday September 9.

Participants limit

Maximum is 25.

For additional information, please contact Ian Gardner

With the support of:

Biosecurity Workshop

Developing a Biorisk Assessment System for Aquatic Pathogens

There is not a unified system to classify aquatic pathogens in terms of biorisk. One of the consequences is that aquatic organisms are classified for shipping using the criteria developed for terrestrial animal pathogens. Under the Hazardous Materials Regulations, Vibrio splendidus requires shipping as a UN2900, Category A Infectious Substance – using the same stringency as for Peste des petits ruminants virus or Foot and mouth disease virus. This results in restricted and expensive shipping which may not be necessary and could hamper research activities.

The aim of this workshop is not to classify aquatic pathogens. Rather it is to agree criteria under which aquatic microorganisms can be assessed and scored, such as survival time under different environmental conditions, infectious dose, susceptible species, background levels in the aquatic environment, etc. In this way, a benchmark is established against which to test and rank existing or newly discovered aquatic microorganisms. It is anticipated that in the future, this could provide the basis for developing a biorisk classification framework which is applicable to all aquatic microorganisms.

From this workshop, suggestions for prioritising areas for research and future collaboration will be generated. In fact the information gathered for identifying such listing criteria would assist researchers and research managers in focusing their activities on aspects where a significant knowledge gap has been highlighted.

In order to facilitate the discussions, preliminary questionnaires will be distributed several weeks in advance of the workshop to assist attendees in the preparation of pertinent background information.


Úna McCarthy, Marine Scotland Science, UK.

Participants limit

Maximum is 30.

Preparing for an effective poster session: content, style and interactions


Despite the key importance of posters as a means of communication scientific research, particularly at large conferences, many posters fail to communicate in a way that is effective, informative, and inspiring. In this workshop we will share key recommendations for content and style of the poster, and for having an enjoyable and productive dialogue with fellow investigators who visit the posters.

Workshop Topics

We will consider:

  1. The poster session as a key mechanism for scientific communication, comprising the poster itself and the interactions between presenter and audience; the importance of preparing for both parts!
  2. Content: key topics to present, how to determine what to include, what to exclude
  3. Style: the reader’s perspective (visual and knowledge), layout, text, images (graphic and photographs), colours, fonts
  4. Interactions: how to have an interesting and productive dialogue with your audience
  5. Recommended resources – print and electronic

Workshop Format

The workshop will mix didactic elements, individual exercises, and small group work.

Workshop Materials

Participants will receive lecture materials, hardcopy worksheets, and checklists for effective poster preparation and interactions.


The workshop leaders are Dr. Barbara Nowak and Dr. Sarah Poynton. Dr. Nowak is Associate Editor of the Journal of Fish Diseases, and a member of the editorial boards for a number of other journals. Dr. Poynton is a reviewer for a diversity of aquatic animal health journals, teaches scientific and biomedical writing, and is a freelance editor.

Dr. Nowak and Dr. Poynton have taught the well-attended EAFP student workshops on scientific publishing in Las Palmas in 2015, and on titles, figures and tables in Belfast in 2017.


Two hours.

Co-infections and multiple stressors in fish

Farmed and wild fish populations are typically exposed to multiple physical, chemical and biological stressors.

The cumulative impact of co-infections between parasites, bacteria, viruses and (a)biotic environmental pressures may trigger complex interactions, eliciting different pathological and immunological outcomes than classically assessed in highly controlled host-pathogen interactions. New studies specifically focus on the impact and dynamics of heterogenous co-infections affecting fish, both in salmonid and non-salmonid species.

Furthermore, cross disciplinary studies attempt to measure the impact of environmental stressors in modulating the host response to pathogens. Scientific advances are needed to improve fish stock management, reduce pressure on natural populations and to design more efficient vaccination strategies and diagnostic tools.

This EAFP-promoted workshop aims to raise awareness of ongoing research on the interaction between multiple infectious agents and (a)biotic environmental stressors to foster new studies and collaborations.

The workshop will be opened by Dr Mark Fast, from Atlantic Veterinary College at UPEI in Canada, with a keynote talk on “Pathological synergies in co-infecting pathogens are impacted by exposure order, and host response to initial infection”.

We encourage researchers to join the “Co-infections and multiple stressors in fish” EAFP workshop, contributing with oral presentations and flash poster presentations. A joint article on this workshop will be published in the EAFP Bulletin.

This is an open workshop, organised by Bartolomeo Gorgoglione (from MSU, USA), Christyn Bailey (from FIWI, Switzerland), Laurent Bigarré (from ANSES, France) and Olga Haenen (from WBVR, the Netherlands). For additional information, please contact Dr. B. Gorgoglione.

Download Keynote Speaker

Prospects and limitations for in vitro models to study host-pathogens interactions

An in vitro system to study host-pathogen interactions requires the ability to isolate and grow the pathogen and its inoculation onto suitable host cells on (typically) plastic surfaces, however new technologies allow us to better mimic an in vivo state, adding physiological relevance to the studies.

Membrane⁠ culture inserts provide a permeable support on which seeded cells can attach and form confluent monolayers. By replacing apical media with either freshwater or seawater, culture conditions can be modified to establish asymmetrical systems which produce a cell culture environment that enables the establishment of effective polarised epithelia and more closely resembles the in vivo state. This static system can be improved by using continuous flow of medium across cell culture and is already being used to study surface cultures and barrier models such as cornea, skin, respiratory systems gut and kidney.

The use of ex vivo explants, and primary cell cultures will be discussed.

A section on the culture of fastidious viruses and other non-cultured parasites will aim to discuss current developing methodologies, such as CRISPR editing of cell lines and transcriptomic analysis to reveal host-parasite interactions.

Delegates are encouraged to join us with oral and poster presentations, we expect a brain storm of ideas and potential future collaborations. A joint article on this workshop will be published in the EAFP Bulletin.

This is an open workshop, organized by Irene Cano and Richard Paley (from Cefas, UK) and Patricia Noguera (Marine Scotland, UK).

Vivaldi Project:
Exchange session on the VIVALDI project

This workshop aims at crossing experiences from the VIVALDI project with research conducted overseas by members of the VIVALDI expert advisory panel. What can be done to detect the emergence of diseases as early as possible? How can we anticipate on these diseases? Combining microscopy, new sequencing tools and environmental approaches can bring new perspectives and will be discussed by the participants to the workshop.

About the VIVALDI project

The European shellfish industry is a major contributor to global production of marine bivalves. Its success depends a great deal on high environmental quality and susceptibility to mortality events, often linked to pathogenic organisms such as viruses, bacteria and parasites (protozoa). In this context, the European project VIVALDI is developing tools and approaches with a view to better preventing and controlling marine bivalve diseases. 21 partners, research institutes, universities and SMEs, from 10 countries in Europe and beyond, cooperate in VIVALDI within 6 scientific work packages, with the same objective of improving the competitiveness and sustainability of the shellfish industry.

This project has received funding from the EU’s Horizon 2020 Research and innovation programme under grant agreement N° 678589