Dr. Camino Gestal
Working group 2 – Stress and diseases
Dr. Sarah Culloty
WG2 and WG4 have similar organization and will share information in close interaction with WG1. Interactions between them are very strong. Integrated information and experimental work between Tasks 1, 2 and 3 will be coordinated by the three WG (WG1,2,4) leaders, when appropriate. This WG work together to assess the interaction between basic and physiological needs of species considered in the Action, to evaluate stress and disease with the aim to improve welfare of cephalopod species and the implementation of a Cephalopod Welfare Index based on a semantic model. Particular attention is given to facilitation of the interaction with experts and researchers involved in experiments and training based on non-cephalopod species. Short Term Scientific Missions, Training Schools, and specific meetings will be used as instruments to attain WG specific objectives.
This Work Group integrates the following tasks:
Task 1 – Evaluation of Signs and Indicators of Stress, Pain, Suffering and Immune Response
Task 2 – Classification, Diagnosis and Prevention of Diseases in Cephalopods
Task 3 – Exploration of Non-Invasive Methods to Assess the Health Conditions in Live Individuals
The main objectives of this Working Group are:
1. Stress, pain and suffering & Immune Response: This Working Group will evaluate signs and indicators of stress, pain and suffering. Stress has effects on behaviour (locomotion, play, fear of novelty), endocrine system and brain development (network plasticity and neurogenesis). These robust indicators of stress consequences can be measured in cephalopods. It will determine methods for the assessment of health and well-being of cephalopods kept under laboratory conditions such as behavioural, hormonal or immunological methods of assessment. Literature and possible targeted experiments will also be considered to assess potential stress response genes. Evaluation of techniques for assessing immuno-competence in other taxa for use with cephalopods. Identification of behavioural patterns associated with positive and negative emotions, and scoring of these pattern, to allow recognition of stress severity of the animal and mitigation measures suggested Distinction of ‘states’ originating from natural processes (e.g. senescence) from those induced by poor welfare and health conditions during handling and husbandry.
2. Disease: Disease (e.g. bacterial infection and fungal) can cause senescence where left untreated and under poor water quality and high temperature conditions. Actions will be taken to classify, diagnose and prevent diseases in cephalopods. Lesions and ulcers are common on octopuses which appear to be distressed or ‘anxious’ and can rapidly spread unless treated. Treatments, like cold water, antibiotic and or antifungal treatments by immersion, will be assessed by reviewing literature and unpublished data to help establish best-practice guidelines.
3. Non-invasive methods: Cephalopods commonly harbour heavy parasite loads in their kidneys and digestive track. Parasite burdens can be assessed following anaesthesia and mantle inversion. This technique is highly invasive. New non-invasive techniques (e.g. sonographic examination) will be explored to assess health conditions and parasite load in cephalopods.