Strand 1: Studying pathogen diversity and improving tools for better surveillance

The objective of this 1st axis is to find, describe, measure and understand the interactions that happen in the shells’ environment, which can make them sick. Why does the disease only appear in certain conditions? To sum up, there are many different pathogens in many different and varying environments.

This working group will develop tools for the assessment of diversity and activity of pathogens in bivalve populations, alternative hosts and environmental samples. This will enable more accurate identification and characterisation of pathogens that affect bivalves, elucidate their life-cycles and environmental reservoirs, including the development of methods to detect active stages of pathogen in environmental (water, sediment) samples, the role of planktonic elements in disease transmission, and the interaction and transfer of organic matter and pathogens between benthic and planktonic elements.


  • Studying bivalve pathogen diversity and virulence in bivalve hosts
  • Identifying pathogens in environmental compartments (water, sediment, benthic and planktonic biota)

Main expected results:

  • Biosensors
  • Discovery and characterisation of novel pathogens
  • Identification of pathogen reservoirs and determination of transmission stages