Funded Projects

PROJECT

2nd Joint Call: BIOPLATE

The metallization of plastics, called Plating On Plastics (POP) for decorative and functional applications is an integral part of many branches of industry. In the automotive industry, for example, in car interiors, for sanitary fittings, for shielding electronic devices or in consumer goods industry for control elements on household appliances.
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Background

The metallization of plastics, called Plating On Plastics (POP) for decorative and functional applications is an integral part of many branches of industry. In the automotive industry, for example, in car interiors, for sanitary fittings, for shielding electronic devices or in consumer goods industry for control elements on household appliances. Electroplating usually refers to plating of metallic surfaces, and requires electric conductivity of the substrate, while the adhesion between layer and substrate is achieved by metal-metal bonds. These both aspects are not observed in POP as plastic is used. Therefore, POP processes rely on very special mechanism and pretreatment procedures. Furthermore, it is not possible to use any type of plastic for metallization in order to produce adhesive layers. Usually, POP products are based on acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene (ABS) or acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene – polycarbonate (ABS/PC) blend substrates. Modern societies will change into a reduced or neutral carbon footprint way of living. This means not only the use of renewable energies; it means the use of renewable resources in general – including materials. The currently available bioplastics cannot be electroplated with the existing processes and development work has to be carried out. The important thing is that the biopolymer and the electrochemical processes are developed together.

The Project

The aim of the joint research project is an optimised electroplating process for tailor-made biopolymer materials. Biopolymers from renewable raw materials will be used in the field of "Plating On Plastic" (POP) to replace non-biodegradable and oil-based materials. From this point of view, the project will have a beneficial impact for the societal change from “oil-based to green” by the intermediate of more sustainable consumable goods, packaging and vehicles.

The Science

The research to reach the targets goes deep into material science and needs competences in different disciplines of material science as well as in biotechnology and chemistry. The multidisciplinary of the project is best seen in his dual approach of improving the process of metal deposition on plastic from two perspectives: the design, synthesis and surface preparation of a suitable biopolymer from renewable resources and the optimization of the deposition procedures and conditions. This demands on the one side knowledge on design and conducting bioprocesses for a target product and on the other hand, the know-how related to developing electroplating process chains.

Two research lines are proposed regarding the design of the polymer. First, a bio-based polymer or blend having a biphasic structure, similarly to ABS, will be targeted together with a standard electroplating process but involving a suitable non-CMR etching agent like sulfuric acid. A second approach utilizes the difference between the first and second crystallization rates observed for some PHA polymers. The surface pretreatment and the electroplating process must be tailored to the biopolymers.

The Team

The BIOPLATE partners are:

 

Contact: Dr.- Ing. Martin Metzner martin.metzner@ipa.fraunhofer.de

 

PROJECT

2nd Joint Call: SEA-dog-SEA

This project aims to explore the social and ecological dimensions of dog-associated zoonotic diseases in order to improve their management in rural areas of SE Asia (Socio-Ecological Approach of dog-borne diseases in SE Asia). It is funded under the 2nd Call of Southeast Asia - Europe Joint Funding Scheme for Science and Innovation.
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Background 

A large majority of human diseases is due to zoonotic pathogens, and a significant proportion of those originate from domestic animals. Dog was the first domesticated animal, with the initial centre for domestication located in Asia, and it is currently the most widespread and abundant human commensal. Dogs play an important role of reservoirs for major public health infectious threats, such as rabies. However, apart from rabies, dog-human epidemiological relationships have received relatively little attention, with disease such as cystic echinococcosis being classified as a neglected zoonotic disease. Similarly, is still unclear what roles dogs may play in Asia in the epidemiology of leptospirosis, emerging rickettsiosis or Japanese encephalitis. A key knowledge gap is the paucity of information regarding the behavioral, ecological, and socio-economic determinants of dog-human interactions in SE Asia, in order to improve the management of dog populations for veterinary and public health benefits.

 

The Project 

SEA-dog-SEA project will study the social and ecological dimensions of dog zoonotic diseases in rural sites selected in Indonesia (Bali), with additional sites in Cambodia and Thailand supported by complementary surveys. The field surveys will combine: i) dog ecology, population dynamics and contact network (GPS tracking, camera traps); ii) dog shared microbiome and prevalence of selected dog-borne diseases (e.g. leptospirosis, internal helminths and rickettsia); iii) perceptions and practices of local populations regarding dog keeping and management (anthropology, social-network of owners…): iv) modelling of multi-layered networks and zoonotic risks associated with dogs. The comparisons between countries will highlight the main drivers of dog-associated zoonotic risks and allow for improved management of dog populations for better prevention of spill-over risks.

 

The Science

The project adopts an interdisciplinary approach to analyse the linkages between dogs’ spatial behaviour and population dynamics with the socio-cultural and environmental characteristics of the study sites. The movements and distribution of selected dogs will be assessed during radio-tracking sessions using GPS collars, combined with camera-trap monitoring of marked/unmarked dog populations. A questionnaire survey (translated in Balinese/Thai/Khmer), key-informants interviews and participatory mapping will be carried out in the participating villages in order to assess local perceptions and practices regarding dog keeping and management. The screening of zoonotic pathogens in selected dogs will use standardised laboratory diagnostic techniques (rabies antibodies, leptospirosis, rickettsiosis… depending on the sites), while NGSs will be used to analyse the microbiota of sympatric free-ranging dogs based on faecal samples collected. The analysis of contact networks between dogs, and associated social networks between dog-owners, will aim at identifying key individuals/”superspreaders” and key areas/resources to target the management of spill-over risks..

 

The Team

The SEA-dog-SEA paartners are:

Contact

Michel de Garine-Wichatitsky: degarine@cirad.fr

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PROJECT

2nd Joint Call: MalHivPOCTs

The MalHivPOCTs project aims to develop rapid point-of-care diagnostic devices that will detect Malaria (Plasmodium genus and two species of Plamodium) and HIV drug resistance to antiretroviral using isothermal amplification methods, paper-based microfluidics and visual readout.
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Background

Malaria and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) are two highly dangerous global infectious diseases that cause major harm especially to societies in the Southeast Asia (SEA) region. Current diagnostic technologies are cumbersome, expensive and require sophisticated equipment that can only be maintained in specialized hospitals. This means unfortunately that diagnostics are not available where and when truly needed. Specifically, current diagnostic tests for Malaria are based on microscopy, antigen/antibody detection and nucleic acid-based assays. The gold standard for the detection of mutations in HIV is Sanger sequencing. At the same time, recent advancements in biosensor and rapid-test diagnostics have demonstrated their powerful potential in addressing exactly these complex diagnostic needs in resource-limited settings. Based on our joint diverse and broad strong expertise in Malaria, HIV infectious diseases, biosensors, and nucleic-acid based systems, we propose the development of paper-based and biosensor technologies for the simultaneous detection of Malaria or HIV drug resistance, leading to a simple and low-cost, yet highly reliable and sensitive diagnostic kit.

 

The Project

The MalHivPOCTs project aims to develop rapid point-of-care diagnostic devices that will detect Malaria (Plasmodium genus and two species of Plamodium) and HIV drug resistance to antiretroviral using isothermal amplification methods, paper-based microfluidics and visual readout.

This project will involve parallel developments of the different components of the paper-based device from 4 partners (Germany, Indonesia, Philippines and Thailand) and hence take advantage of their respective expertise in a collaborative effort.

 

The Science

The MalHivPOCTs will be based on developing strategies to lyse the pathogens in the blood sample, extract DNA/RNA, amplify specific target sequences, and finally detect the product in a set of paper-based analytical devices (PADs). The device will be made from a patterned piece of chromatography paper with wax ink functioning as hydrophobic barriers and hydrophilic channel. It will integrate all sample assay steps from lysis to detection. Electrospun nanofibers will be studied to enhance DNA/RNA extraction. The recombinase polymerase amplification (RPA) is used to amplify DNA/RNA and single or simultaneous detection using colloidal gold or liposomes will result in visual detection.

 

The Team:

The MalHivPOCTs partners are:

Contact:

Patsamon Rijiravanich: patsamon.rij@biotec.or.th

 

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PROJECT

2nd Joint Call:  Irrigation4.0

The objective of the project is to improve a soil moisture and evapotranspiration-based irrigation scheduling system in a wireless sensor network (WSN) platform. It is funded under the 2nd Call of Southeast Asia - Europe Joint Funding Scheme for Science and Innovation.
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Background

Both in Southeast Asia and Europe, the transition towards a bio-based economy holds great potential for economic growth, rural development and decreasing fossil fuel dependence, but requires tackling important challenges. One of these is the steady, reliable and affordable supply of sustainably produced biomass in the agricultural sector. A reliable supply of biomass (for food, feed, fuel) in terms of quantity, quality and continuity, heavily depends on agronomic management practices.

This is also the case for irrigation in regions where rainfall does not cover the physiological needs of plants to achieve the maximum yield potential, and co-occurring environmental conditions such as high temperatures contribute to drought stress. Irrigation needs to be sustainable in terms of water use, and affordable on a macro-economic (production costs versus market value) and micro-economic level (costs versus yield gain). A smart irrigation system aimed at optimizing water use in a cost- and effort-affordable way addresses the EU and SEA bioeconomy strategies for the agricultural sector, including the sustainable exploitation of resources, resource use efficiency, and rural development.

The Project

The irrigation-dependency of plant biomass production and the deficiency of resources will further increase due to climate change. The project involves the development of a new irrigation scheduling system that can reduce water consumption in the agricultural sector by being tuned to the plant’s actual water use, and to agronomic practices aimed at maximizing yield. This collaborative project aims at creating innovation as it is fully embracing the concepts of agriculture 4.0, and fits within the strategic objective of mitigating and adapting to climate change.

The project focuses on two different plant species and production systems that require appropriate irrigation to achieve high yields: high-value fruit orchards (durian)and an arable crop (maize). These were chosen in order to maximize the project’s potential application areas, to raise its scientific value in terms of plant water use for a tree species and an annual C4 monocot crop, and to challenge the technology under different scenarios.

The Science

The objective of the project is to improve a soil moisture and evapotranspiration-based irrigation scheduling system in a wireless sensor network (WSN) platform, by means of high temporal resolution data informing about plant water status. Psychrometers and thermal infrared cameras, providing stem water potential and canopy temperature data, will be added to the WSN. The improved platform will cope with large data volumes, new processing algorithms requiring significant computing performance, and an increased power consumption. The plant-based sensors will be critically tested for their value in increasing our understanding of plant water use throughout development and in interaction with the environment. The improved irrigation platform will then be installed in a durian (Durio zibethinus L.) orchard in Thailand for performance testing and data collection. Machine learning approaches will be applied to develop plant water potential and canopy temperature index models, and to classify plant responses to irrigation, water-deficit, and environmental conditions across the growing season. The new irrigation scheduling system in the adapted platform will be extensively tested in a durian orchard and a maize (Zea mays L.) field plot for performance, irrigation accuracy and effects on yield.

The Team:

The Irrigation4.0 partners are:

Dr. Teera Phatrapornnant : National Electronics and Computer Technology Center, National Science and Technology Development Agency, Thailand

Dr. Nathalie Wuyts: Forschungszentrum Jülich, Institute of Bio- and Geosciences, IBG-2: Plant Sciences, Germany

Porf. Dr. Khin Than Mya: Faculty of Computer Systems and Technologies, University of Computer Studies, Yangon, Myanmar

Contact:

Teera Phatrapornnant: teera.phatrapornnant@nectec.or.th

PROJECT

2nd Joint Call: Moxistrong

The overarching goal of this project is to assemble for the first time key data on the safety and efficacy and pharmacokinetics of moxidectin for the treatment of strongyloidiasis. It is funded under the 2nd Call of Southeast Asia - Europe Joint Funding Scheme for Science and Innovation.
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Background

Strongyloides stercoralis belongs to the soil-transmitted helminths and is the most neglected helminth infection among the neglected tropical diseases. It occurs almost worldwide and may result in long-lasting infections, and significant morbidity. Today, drug treatments, combined with health education programs, remain the core control strategy. The current recommended treatments are a single dose of ivermectin or multiple doses of albendazole, which has a lower efficacy compared to ivermectin. Since drug resistance is a threat it is important to develop treatment alternatives. Among new candidates in the human anthelminthic drug development pipeline, moxidectin, a macrocyclic lactone might be an excellent alternative. In an exploratory, randomized, single-blind trial to evaluate the efficacy and safety of moxidectin an excellent cure rate was observed against S. stercoralis.

The Project

The overarching goal of this project is to assemble for the first time key data on the safety and efficacy and pharmacokinetics of moxidectin for the treatment of strongyloidiasis. The project involves four highly multi-disciplinary, interlinked objectives. 1.) What is the efficacy and safety of ascending moxidectin doses (2-12 mg versus placebo) against S. stercoralis infections in adults? 2. Can dried blood spots (DBS) be used to analyse pharmacokinetic (PK) properties of moxidectin? 3. What are key PK parameters of moxidectin in patients infected with S. stercoralis? 4. What is the safety and efficacy of moxidectin against S. stercoralis compared to the drug of choice ivermectin?

The Science

Research questions are embedded in one Phase 2a and two Phase 2b clinical trials. A Phase 2a dose-finding trial will be conducted to determine the efficacy and safety of ascending single, oral doses of moxidectin versus placebo in Lao PDR in 210 adults infected with S. stercoralis. The primary outcome is to assess the efficacy of 2-12 mg moxidectin versus placebo in terms of cure rate against S. stercoralis. Secondary outcomes are the tolerability of the treatment regimens and PK properties. For this purpose venous blood will be withdrawn by cannulation from 15 adults in the Phase 2a study at 0, 2, 4, 8, 24 and 72 hours, 7 and 21 days post-treatment with moxidectin in the 8 mg study arm. From the same participants and of 15 patients in the other treatment arms DBS samples will be taken at the same time points. Once the optimal dose of moxidectin has been identified in the Phase 2a trial a Phase 2b trial will be conducted in Laos and Cambodia. This study will be a non-inferiority trial and include 245 patients treated with moxidectin, ivermectin or placebo. 35 patients will be included in the PK studies.

The Team

The Moxistrong partners are: 

Prof. Jennifer Keiser : Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute, Switzerland

Dr. Somphou Sayasone : Lao Tropical and PublicHealth Institute, Laos PDR

Dr. Virak Khieu : National Centre for Parasitology, Entomology and Malaria Control, Cambodia

Contact: 

Jennifer Keiser: jennifer.keiser@unibas.ch

PROJECT

2nd Joint Call: Purge to Value

The aim of the project is to use the metabolites from A. platensis purge water for the production of a complex nitrogen source. It is funded under the 2nd Call of Southeast Asia - Europe Joint Funding Scheme for Science and Innovation.
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Background 

Cyanobacteria have gained much attention as a rich source of bioactive compounds and have been considered as one of the most promising groups of organisms to produce them. One of the well-known and widely used representative, mostly in the food industry, is Arthrospira platensis (Spirulina platensis).

Growth of A. platensis requires a group of nutrients in the cultivation media, with the nitrate, phosphate, and carbon source being of the highest importance. Under systematic, continuous cultivation a build up of nutrients, organic matter and A. platensis metabolites is observed in the cultivation water, which acts as a growth inhibitor for A. platensis and is therefore an issue for the productivity in commercial plants. This fact shows the need to replace the media water when A. platensis production decreases, which leads to the production of large yearly amounts of Arthrospira purge water.

Therefore, an A. platensis production in tank based systems presents two key technological challenges:

  • Reducing water usage in A. platensis production by increasing purge water recycling
  • Repurposing the purge water after it is no longer able to be used for algae cultivation

 

The Project

The aim of the project is to use the metabolites from A. platensis purge water for the production of a complex nitrogen source. Extremophile yeasts do have the capability to convert the short chain sugars that are occurring in A. platensis purge water into valuable lipids and these do have the potential to serve as a valuable food product.

Therefore, the aim of the project is twofold: Firstly, the integration of a second biological process shall serve as a purge Arthrospira wastewater cleaning step. That is the cultivation of extremophile yeasts in the wastewater, that have the capability to convert the exopolysaccharides and media build up to valuable lipids, while the water is recycled and reused in A. platensis cultivation. Secondly, the produced biomass or parts thereof (yeast extract, lipids etc.) represent additional product streams with the potential to serve as a valuable food product of or a recycle stream for existing or as an organic alternative media for existing A. platensis production plants.

 

The Science

The implementation of a second biological step into algae cultivation systems, that makes use of the purge water, will be pursued. An extremophile yeast, Debaryomyces hansenii, a producer of valuable lipids, has been identified for this purpose. There is evidence that these two organisms could be cultivated on each other’s excreted metabolites and enable a combined production process. To enhance the profitably of the overall process valuable substances, a lipid fraction and a yeast extract from D. hansenii shall be identified, isolated and assessed in regards of their compliance to food and feed applications. The experiments in lab scale will be cultivations of A. platensis and D. hansenii on the respective purge water and an in depth analysis of all influencing effects. Furthermore, the isolation of lipids and yeast extract will be investigated. All experimental investigation will be analytically monitored, the developed new products will be characterized and data for validation will be gathered. The results of the experimental investigation will be technically assessed and contribute to the design of an integrated overall process for the valorization of side streams of the said process, by creating further products from and closing recycle loops for A. platensis production processes.

The Team

Purge to Value partners are: 

Prof. Dr. Heike Frühwirth : Hochschule Biberach (HB), Germany

Dr. Baptiste Leroy : University of Mons (UM), Belgium

Dr. Thornthan Sawangwman : Ramkhamhaeng University (RU), Thailand

Muhamet Doertkardes : EnerGaia Co. Ltd. Thailand

Contact: 

Heike Frühwirth : fruehwirth@hochschule-bc.de

PROJECT

2nd Joint Call: PHIShINg

The project aims to develop new diagnostic tests of the Hepatitis B virus. It is funded under the 2nd Call of Southeast Asia - Europe Joint Funding Scheme for Science and Innovation.
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Background

Hepatitis B is one of the major causes of acute and chronic viral hepatitis, an infection that affects the liver. According to World Health Organization (WHO), an estimated 257 million people were living with hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection in 2015 and Hepatitis B resulted in 887 000 deaths, mostly from complications (including cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma). The virus is transmitted through contact with the blood or other body fluids of an infected person. It constitutes a public health threat and is an important occupational hazard for health workers. In addition, only 9% of HBV-infected people are diagnosed always according to WHO. One reason is the limited access to affordable hepatitis tests and especially ones that can be performed by non-laboratory staff. Hence the development of diagnostic tools of infection by HBV is crucial on a public health point of view. 

The Project

The project aims to develop new diagnostic tests of Hepatitis B virus that should be inexpensive, easy to use and highly sensitive. To this end, paper-based label-free electrochemical immunosensor will be designed to integrate silver nanoparticles as redox probes for signal enhancement of the assay. Special attention will be carried out on the ease of synthesis and use.

The Science

Hepatitis B virus has a lipid envelope containing hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) and this antigen is found in the blood during the incubation period and in case of acute and chronic infection. Therefore, HBsAg is considered as a major index of hepatitis B viruses (HBV) infection. Due to the highly specific binding of antigens and antibodies, immunoassays are particularly adapted to detect HBsAg. Label-free electrochemical immunosensors has attracted interest since a long time to give up the classical sandwich-type structure. Indeed this structure requires to perform several biorecognition steps to introduce a label, like in ELISA tests. On another hand, nanomaterial has also intensively been investigated for signal enhancement and improvement of the limit of detection of immunosensors due to their intrinsic advantages such as electrical properties and large surface area. Lastly, the development of microfluidic devices has been stimulated in the field of sensors with the goal to produce low-cost point-of-care diagnostics and on-site detection. Recent developments suggest that bioassays on paper-based substrates may be an interesting alternative for solid support due to the numerous advantages of paper (abundance, inexpensive, sustainable) and variety of inkjet printing techniques available for its functionalization. 

The Team

The PHIShINg partners are: 

Dr. Philippe Banet: University of Cergy Portoise (UCG) , France

Dr. Jaroon Jakmune: Chiang May University (CMU), Thailand

Dr. Akhmad Sabarudin: Brawijaya University (UB), Indonesia

Contact: 

Philippe Banet : philippe.banet@u-cergy.fr

 

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FRESHBIO
PROJECT

1st Joint Call: FRESHBIO

This project will study the diversity, biological states and uses of freshwater biotas in the insular biodiversity hotspots of Southeast Asia. It is funded under the 1st Call of the Southeast Asia - Europe Joint Funding Scheme for Science and Innovation.
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Background

Around the world, natural ecosystems are being put under increasing pressure by mankind. Maintaining high levels of biodiversity is vital to ensuring the continuing sustainability of ecosystems, and areas at particular risk are identified as ‘biodiversity hotspots’. There are three such insular hotspots in Southeast Asia, which are among the most endangered in the world.

However, there is a lack of consistent recording of animal and plant life within these ecosystems, which hampers conservation efforts. This lack of accurate and reliable databases in Southeast Asia, limits research on ecology and global climate change. Such research is becoming increasingly important as greater areas and populations begin to experience the effects of climate change – particularly those whose livelihoods depend on wildlife.

To get a clearer picture of the state of freshwater biotas in insular hotspots in Southeast Asia, urgent steps must be taken. Firstly, DNA-based methods of species inventory are needed to speed up the inventory of biodiversity, and accurate biodiversity mapping is urgently needed to guide conservation strategies.

For this work to take place, capacity building on wildlife forensics is needed to promote new and sustainable practices for species identification, while local populations living in these areas will also need guidance to adapt to the potential effects of biodiversity loss.

The project

The FRESHBIO project aims to address all of these issues through the following steps. Firstly, the team will support DNA barcoding campaigns to build-up reference libraries for automated species identification and its application in environmental DNA barcoding. They will then explore historical trends in population demography and species aggregation in ecological communities to address the state of aquatic biotas (expansion vs. contraction), and estimate the impact of land conversion on diversity patterns through a geographic information system approach. Finally, the project will explore the dynamics of adaptation and resilience of human populations to environmental changes.

The Science

Three main hypotheses are underpinning FRESHBIO: (1) DNA barcoding is an effective paradigm to document biodiversity as it is effective whatever the life stages, spectacular levels of cryptic diversity are often reported and libraries are publicly available. (2) Pleistocene climatic fluctuations predict diversity patterns. Emerged land in Sundaland represents only 50-75% of its maximal Pleistocene surface and its biotas are currently in a refugial state. By contrast, the Wallacea and Philippines hotspots have been continuously isolated from the main land during PCF. (3) Wildlife dependent peoples are sentinels of environmental changes. Resilience and adaptive responses of local fisherfolk to disturbed aquatic ecosystems may be assessed through the peoples’ capacity to anticipate ongoing changes. If addressed through time, people adaptive strategies might be indicative of early ecosystemic changes.

The FRESHBIO partners are:

Dr. Hendrik FREITAG: Ateneo de Manila University (ADMU)

Dr. Daisy WOWOR: Indonesian Institute of Sciences (LIPI)

Dr. Nicolas HUBERT: Institut de Recherche pour le Développement (IRD), France Sud

Dr. Thomas von RINTELEN: Museum für Naturkunde (MfN)

Dr. Philippe KEITH: Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle (MNHN)

Dr. Edmond DOUNIAS: Institut de Recherche pour le Développement (IRD), Indonésie

Contact:

Nicolas Hubert: Nicolas.hubert@ird.fr

SKUD
PROJECT

1st Joint Call: SKUD

This project studies the emergence of Skin Ulceration Diseases in Edible Sea Cucumbers in a Global Change Framework. It is funded under the 1st Call of the Southeast Asia - Europe Joint Funding Scheme for Science and Innovation
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Background

Sea cucumbers are a delicacy across South and East Asia, yet with increasing market pressure and the effects of climate change, numbers are reducing at an alarming rate, particularly in the Indo-Pacific. Sea cucumber fisheries are in a worse state than most fisheries globally.

Over the past 2 decades, the production a particular breed of edible sea cucumber, Holothuria scabra, has ensured sufficient production and made its aquaculture profitable. However, it is thought that increasing water temperatures and ocean acidification could be causing an increase in skin ulceration diseases in sea cucumbers. Such diseases could seriously affect their production, affecting not only the animals, but also the local economies which depend upon their growth and sale. 

The project

The SKUD project aims to study the emergence of diseases, especially SKUDs, in edible sea cucumbers outside Madagascar, especially in Thailand and France, within a global change framework.

The team aim to firstly make a survey of parasites and diseases of two edible sea cucumbers (Holothuria forskali in France and Holothuria scabra in Thailand, and will then determine the cause(s) of SKUDs on these species. With this information, the team will then assess the effects of increased temperature and decreased pH, at values commensurate with predicted global changes, on SKUD prevalence and development.

The Science

The SKUDs that are emerging diseases in new aquacultures will be characterized for the first time by adequate “high tech” methods including metagenomic analyses and the originality of the researches as well as the strength of the involved teams insures the diffusion of the results through international publications. The assessment of the possible impact of global change stressors on SKUD diseases will help forecasting and preventing their exacerbation in aquaculture conditions. The cost of possible mitigations through manipulation of temperature and/of pH in aquaculture basins can then be assessed.

Commercially, the understanding of sea cucumber diseases is of the utmost importance as these fisheries expand worldwide with a Chinese market pressure of increasing affluence. Sea cucumbers have attracted much interest in export-oriented fisheries in at least 70 countries. Collecting sea cucumbers for production of ‘‘bêche-de-mer’’ or ‘‘trepang’’ (the dried body wall) and export to the Asian dried seafood market has a long history in the productive waters of the Indian and Pacific Oceans. The majority (66%) of sea cucumber fisheries involved small-scale fishing operations for export. The Team:

The SKUD partners are:

Igor EECKHAUT/ University of Mons (Belgium)

Anchana PRATHEP / Prince of Songkla University (Thailand)

Philippe DUBOIS / Free University of Brussels (Belgium)

Nadia AMEZIANE / Muséum National d'Histoire Naturelle, Station de Biologie Marine de Concarneau (France)

Contact:

Igor Eeckhaut: Igor.Eeckhaut@umons.ac.be

FarmResist
PROJECT

1st Joint Call: FarmResist

This project studies the occupational risks for animal farmers to be colonised with animal-associated resistant bacteria, impact on the faecal microbiota. It was funded under the 1st Call of the Southeast Asia - Europe Joint Funding Scheme for Science and Innovation.
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Background:

Animal farming is a worldwide industry, with millions of people involved in the production of animal products every day. Protecting farmed animals from disease and infection is therefore vitally important not only for livestock and consumer wellbeing, but also for those working within the farming industry.

The Project:

The FarmResist project will use a “One Health” approach, to investigate the occupational risk for pig and poultry farmers of of catching animal-associated ESBL-E and colistin-resistant enterobacteria. It is hoped that this research will lead to the development of preventive measures for avoiding the transmission of zoonotic bacteria from animal to farmers, as well as reducing the spread of antibioresistance in the environment.

The Science:

The researchers will study both small family farms and medium-big industrial farms. At each farm, faecal samples of farmers, animals (included pets and rodents) will be collected. The prevalence, genotyping and microbiota diversity will be studied by using both culture-dependent methods, molecular biology and next generation sequencing.

The association between farm parameters and antimicrobial resistance will be analysed in order to propose preventive measures to avoid the transmission of zoonotic bacteria from animal to farmers and to reduce the spread of antibioresistance in the environment.  The influence of faecal carriage of ESBL-E or colistin resistant bacteria on the faecal microbiota of farmers will then also be studied.

The Team:

The FarmResist partners are:

  • Visanu Thamlikitkul, Siriraj Hospital, Mahidol University.
  • Suwit Chotinun, Chiang Mai University, poultry clinic.
  • Morand Serge, Kasetsart University, Bangkok, Faculty Veterinary Technology
  • Jean-Marc Rolain, URMITE- IHU Méditerranée Infection, Valorization and Transfer, Marseille, France
  • Morand Serge, CNRS- Cirad, France
  • Markus Hilty, IFIK, Bern University, Switzerland
  • Oppliger Anne, IST, Lausanne University, Switzerland

Contact:

Anne Oppliger: Anne.Oppliger@hospvd.ch

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