During these last three years, Michela Massimo had the opportunity to develop her doctoral thesis within the Horizon2020 project ParaFishControl. The PhD research activities were based on studying the ectoparasite protozoan Amyloodinium ocellatum with a particular attention in deepening the understanding of the mechanisms by which the dinoflagellate interacts with its host and how the host responds to it. For this reason, studies were conducted on the protozoan and on fish (UNIUD group selected the European sea bass as target host) also by monitoring spontaneous outbreak episodes and carrying out experimental infections. Contemporarily, laboratory analyses (i.e. ELISA, immunohistochemistry, histology, respiratory burst, cytotoxicity tests, in vitro motility tests) were performed to better explore the host-parasite relationship and to develop innovative treatments against amyloodiniosis. Furthermore, she could spend some months at the Institute of Aquaculture of the University of Stirling, thanks to the fundings provided by the Horizon2020 project Aquaexcel. At UoS she learned how to perform in situ hybridization technique and to develop staining protocols for confocal microscopy evaluations.
Finally, on the 26th of February 2019 she concluded the PhD in Science and Agricultural Biotechnology with the thesis entitled “New perspectives in the control of Amyloodinium ocellatum infection in reared sea bass (Dicentrarchus labrax)”.
Michela Massimo presenting her PhD at the University of Udine