Objectives

1) To engage local farming communities in Bangladesh and India to identify their existing best practice, and their experience of poverty and the socioeconomic impact of disease outbreaks (Task 1).

2) To establish a farm-based participatory epidemiological study of crop disease in shrimp and fish in India and Bangladesh through one growing season, by weekly characterization of crop performance and pond physico-chemical conditions – including pathogen load, crop health, crop mortality and management activity (Task 2).

3) Use the participatory research and outputs from Objectives 1 & 2 to inform controlled experimental infection studies under different environmental conditions. These will provide a robust evidence-base from which to propose novel Best Management Practices (Objective 4) for fish and crustacean culture in India and Bangladesh. This will involve:

i) transcriptomic analyses of host-pathogen interactions in response to a single model infection (Task 3.1)
ii) quantifying changes in key gene transcription, immune phenotype and infection outcome in response to environmental change (Task 3.2)

4) To use our combined data (from objectives 1, 2 & 3) in collaboration with the farming communities to build local capacity and help develop our novel Best Management Practice recommendations through a series of ‘sensitization workshops’ (Task 4).

5) To create a resource of new data by employing bioinformatic approaches and molecular biology experiments to understand host-pathogen interactions. (Task 5).