Artificial Intelligence Driven Platforms to Develop Novel Assays to Monitor Fish Health

Ralfs Buks, Yehfang Hu, Ayham Alnabulsi, Abdo Alnabulsi, Christopher Secombes, Tiehui Wang, Samuel Martin

Research output: Contribution to conferencePoster


Global aquaculture production more than tripled in live-weight volume in the past two decades, reaching 112 million tonnes. To ensure efficient production fish health monitoring is essential to minimise pathogen outbreaks in a continuously growing industry. Our team has developed an AI framework “EpitopePredikt” to predict B-cell immunodominant epitopes. The immunodominance is an immunological phenomenon in which immune responses are dominated by only a few peptides of the antigenic nature. The identification of antigenic peptides will facilitate the development of accurate serodiagnostic tests, more effective vaccine and adjuvants as well as improve efficiency of antibody production. The second innovative platform is a non-reactive bioengineered scaffolds “EpitoGen” whereby epitope/s can be assembled to create chimeric antigens suitable for serology-testing, vaccine delivery and efficacy testing, and immunoassay validation. Combined, the two technologies will revolutionize the health-related tools for the aquaculture sector. We currently have generated ~50 antibodies to key markers, and >100 recombinant proteins including flagellins, potent immunostimulants. Employing AI precision-based platform with innovative bioengineered scaffold will offer ground-breaking solutions to persistent problems in the sector.
1) Develop a panel of antibodies for research in fish.
2) Develop sensitive and affordable high throughput antibody and peptide-based serology assays to monitor fish health in aquaculture, i.e., enzyme linked immunosorbent assays (ELISAs).
3) Develop the next generation of bio-active immunomodulators to boost fish robustness.
Materials and Methods
We performed fish biomarker search using published based on published literature in combination with gene expression and sequence data. We identified a panel of key health markers in need of immunoassay to chart their levels. We predicted 3D structures of candidate biomarkers to identify optimal accessible and surface exposed regions suitable for antibody production. EpitopePredikt was utilised to identify “hot spots” suitable for antibody design. Short peptides were used as immunogens to generate mono and polyclonal antibodies against the fish candidates in mice and rabbits respectively. We are also developing bio-active molecules to potential immunostimulants such as interferons, antimicrobial peptides to enhance ongoing research.
We have generated a range of fish antibodies and bio-active recombinants that can be used as tools for academic research, as well as prospective immunoassays to monitor fish health in aquaculture. We are currently finalising our study and validating specificity for a panel of generated antibodies and to test bioactivity. Our products will be produced to support the unmet demands of the aquaculture sector for affordable, accurate and high throughput platforms.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 4 Oct 2021
EventAquaculture Europe 2021 - Madeira, Funchal, Portugal
Duration: 4 Oct 20217 Oct 2021


ConferenceAquaculture Europe 2021


Dive into the research topics of 'Artificial Intelligence Driven Platforms to Develop Novel Assays to Monitor Fish Health'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this