Main pathogens of eels (Anguilla anguilla) in wild populations and their influence on the sustainability of the resource.

Master Thesis subject (30 ECTS)
The species Anguilla anguilla is one of the main resources in exploitation in the Cantabrian region. It is a resource with a high commercial value and has been, for more than a century, the support of the way of life of entire communities in the region. There are previous data suggesting high levels of prevalence (percentage of infected eels) and intensity of infection of the parasite Anguillicola crassus in the species Anguilla anguilla. This parasite does not produce great mortalities in the life stage of the eel in the rivers, nevertheless it is determinant in the long trip of return of the eels to spawn in the Sargasso Sea. During this trip the swimming bladder regulates the hydrostatic pressure. Recent studies have found that eels travel during the day to depths of up to 600 meters and during the night on the surface (Pelster B. 2015), this vertical migration is greatly hampered when the swimming bladders are occupied by Anguillicola crassus. Some authors consider that this parasite is the most relevant factor of the decline of populations of European Anguilla. The main objective here is to carry out a study of etiological agents producing relevant pathologies in eels caught in rivers of Asturias and comparing this information with previous studies in the region. The methodology includes working in the SERIDA Experimental Aquarium and UNIOVI, necropsies, pathological examinations of the swimming bladders of all specimens, and molecular studies to be performed using RT-PCR to assess presence / absence of 5 viral agents and 3 bacterial agents.
Willingness to learn and to perform pathological dissections and molecular techniques. Training in Statistical Analyses Preparation of the results for scientific publication (SCI indexed peer-reviewed journal, expected to be published within one year after completing the Master Thesis)
Number of students: 
academic year: 
Contact person email: 
contact person first name: 
Yaisel Juan
contact person last name: 
Borrell Pichs
Other people involved: 
Isabel Marquez (SERIDA) (
Reference Number: RP-48821