Scientific team projects

Mechanisms of transmission of avian haemoproteosis (METAH)

Projects leader: dr. Carolina Romeiro Fernandes Chagas

Terms of the project: 2011–2024

The impact of the interaction between parasites and pollution on aquatic organisms (MULTIS)

Projects leader: dr. Milda Stankevičiūtė

Terms of the project: 2021–2024

The main priorities of the project are as follows: a) to assess the combined biological effects of parasitic infections (co-infections and monospecific infections) and chemical substances on aquatic organisms, b)to assess the geno- and cytotoxicity of microplastics of different size and polymer type to aquatic organisms, c)to assess the cytogenetic condition of wild and artificially-bred salmonids, and d)to assess differences in sensitivity of artificially-bred and wild salmonid offspring to pathogenic oomycetes. The undertaken investigations are viewed as important for deepening the understanding of the host-parasite-pollution interaction in aquatic ecosystems in the context of anthropogenic impact (climate change). The biological impact of pathogenic oomycetes, parasitic protozoa (e.g., trichodinae), will be assessed alone or in combination with chemical stressors. The programmed cell death (apoptosis) as an innate and adaptive host response to parasites will be investigated in organisms exposed to both stressors (parasites + pollution). It is expected that the assessed changes in the apoptotic activity during the parasite-host interaction under the impact of pollution will disclose scientifically significant information about the ability of parasites to manipulate the host’s immune system. The objectives of the project will be achieved having elucidated the parasite-pollution interaction by investigating causal relationships between parasitic infections, exposure to chemical stressors and biological responses in the organisms exposed. During the project, oomycetes belonging to the order of Saprolegniales (pathogens of the fish disease saprolegniasis) will be isolated from the water samples taken from Lithuanian aquaculture ponds and identified. Pathogenicity of the isolated parasitic oomycete species will be assessed on salmonids. The isolated oomycete specimens will be fixed and inserted in BILAS herbarium, cultures will be deposited in the collection of microorganism cultures, and the DNA sequencing data will be submitted to international databases (e.g., GenBank).