|3.1. Identify possible improvements to increase the sensitivity of Australia’s passive surveillance systems for aquatic animal diseases||A SCAAH WG has been established to guide implementation of this activity. The terms of reference (TOR) were reviewed and re-endorsed at SCAAH-32. At a face-to-face meeting held in March 2018, members agreed that a preliminary nation-wide survey was the best first step to describe and define the current passive surveillance systems that exist for field and laboratories in aquatic animal health in Australia.|
Through this project up to three aquaculture industries and aquatic health providers to those industries will be surveyed to establish the present level of effectiveness of passive surveillance as a baseline for determining future performance and improvements or failures. The sectors tentatively identified are the barramundi, yellowtail kingfish and abalone aquaculture sectors. A consultant will be engaged to develop and implement the survey.
The WG will develop tools and improvements to address gaps and weaknesses identified by the survey.
|3.2. Make the Aquatic animal diseases significant to Australia identification field guide available as an application for mobile devices ||The final version of the App was successfully deployed across Android, Windows and iOS platforms in March 2017. |
Although this activity is complete, the fourth edition of the field guide is being reviewed for 2018, which includes revision of the mobile app.
|3.3. Undertake aquatic animal health benchmarking for specific aquaculture industry sectors||A SCAAH WG has been established to guide implementation of this activity. The WG aims to undertake industry-specific benchmarking for aquaculture health and production parameters as an aid to individual members of the industry. WG members have been in contact with specific industries to establish what prior work has been undertaken in this area. |
At a teleconference held 19 February 2018, it was established that some jurisdictions are already collecting data that may assist this project (e.g. production and farm gate values, pond areas/tank numbers, employment figures, food conversion ratios etc.). The WG has distributed an out-of-session paper seeking advice from SCAAH members on jurisdictional benchmarking data and farmer databases.
|3.4. Adopt processes (new or existing) for formal recognition of validation status of diagnostic tests and identify specific test validation priorities||The SCAAH validation testing WG presented its report for comment at SCAAH-25 in March 2016. Comments were addressed and the report was finalised on 22 March 2016. The WG completed its work plan in August 2016. It noted the on-going nature of validation work.
Further activities under activity 3.4 (e.g. validation of specific diagnostic tests) continue as Agricultural Competitiveness White Paper initiatives (see activity 3.6).
|3.5. Develop stable positive control material and internal controls for molecular tests for detection of important endemic and exotic pathogens||The Fisheries Research and Development Corporation (FRDC) Project 2014/002 “Aquatic Animal Health Subprogram: Development of stable positive control material and development of internal controls for molecular tests for detection of important endemic and exotic pathogens” is nearing completion – all of the project activities have been completed, and the final report is being drafted.|
Positive control materials for 32 PCR assays have been prepared. Materials distributed to laboratories, on request.
|3.6. Develop validated diagnostic tests for significant new and emerging diseases of aquatic animals in Australia||Projects on Abalone herpesvirus, Pilchard orthomyxo-like virus (POMV) and prawn viruses are complete (FRDC Projects 2009/032, 2013/033 and 2013/036, respectively). The final report for the project investigating Oyster oedema disease has been submitted and an industry workshop convened (FRDC Project 2013/002).|
Projects investigating Yellow head virus genotypes, Perkinsus olseni, and Penaeus monodon mortality syndrome are in progress (FRDC Projects 2015/005, 2016/009 and 2016/013, respectively).
Validation of molecular tests for white spot syndrome virus (WSSV) and Ostreid herpesvirus-1 microvariant (OsHV-1) have been funded through the Agricultural Competitiveness White Paper. WSSV data to be analysed, a report prepared and published for a proposed update to the relevant OIE manual chapter. OsHV-1 laboratory data to be collated, gaps identified and further data generated (if required).
|3.7. Improve the breadth of data in Neptune, particularly histopathology slide collections||The Neptune facility includes a 200 slide collection and a database of the most published records for aquatic animal diseases and pathogens in Australia. SCAAH became the primary consultative body for decisions affecting the maintenance and operation of Neptune in November 2014. The CSIRO Australian Animal Health Laboratory (AAHL) agreed to host Neptune from June 2015.|
The department and CSIRO-AAHL have agreed on a 2 year project to recover and redevelop Neptune, host it on CSIRO systems and to make it available for Australia’s aquatic animal health community. This project commenced in July 2017. Work on initial objectives is progressing. CSIRO-AAHL has recruited an IT specialist to manage the redeployment and scanning of slides into Neptune. Scanning of the slide collection has been put on hold, as work to deploy Neptune has commenced. This work has been funded through the Agricultural Competitiveness White Paper.
|3.8. Describe existing components of Australia’s aquatic animal disease diagnosis network to identify interactions, responsibilities and performance measures||Specific components of the network include:
An overview document describing Australia’s aquatic animal disease diagnosis network is currently being drafted and will be sent to SCAAH for consideration and comment.
- Australian and New Zealand standard diagnostic procedures (ANZSDPs) for aquatic animal diseases: work plan developed and endorsed. ANZSDPs in progress.
- National laboratory proficiency testing program: 2013-15 program complete. Program in review and final report drafted. 2017-19 program has commenced.
- Aquatic animal health technical forum: 2013-15 program complete. Final report available on the FRDC’s website (FRDC Project 2012/002). The most recent FRDC Aquatic animal health technical forum was held at CSIRO-AAHL in February 2018.
- SCAAH now the administrator of the Aquatic Slide of the Quarter. This program is on-going. Laboratories for Emergency Animal Disease Diagnosis and Response (LEADDR): Ostreid herpesvirus-1, white spot syndrome virus and Megalocytivirus tests have been included in proficiency testing. Laboratories for Emergency Animal Disease Diagnosis and Response (LEADDR): Ostreid herpesvirus-1, white spot syndrome virus and Megalocytivirus tests have been included in proficiency testing.
- Neptune: see activity 3.7.