Flatfish skin diseases


Belgian researchers have developed a lab model of flatfish skin to understand a recent unexplained increase in skin ulcers.


Flatfish, such as plaice, sole and turbot, are key species in Belgian fisheries, and cannot be sold for consumption with skin ulcers.


The Flanders Research Institute for Agricultural and Fishers Research (ILVO) together with EARA member Ghent University, and the Flanders Marine Institute, developed an in vitro model which could be exposed to pathogens and environmental factors that showed no major differences to skin on live fish.

Researcher Maaike Vercauteren, said: “The developed model offers opportunities for further, in-depth research into the causes of skin ulcers.”

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