University of Copenhagen

Partner No 3: University of Copenhagen, Faculty of Life Sciences, Department of Veterinary Pathobiology (UCPH)

_University of Copenhagen

The Department of Veterinary Pathobiology is one of four institutes at the Faculty of Life Sciences at the Copenhagen University. The department is organized in six research groups: the pharmacy, biomedicine, microbiology, special pathology, parasitology and one group within virology, immunology and fish diseases. It has about 190 employees, including 100 academic staff (incl Ph.D. students). The turn over of the department was in 2005 85 mill Danish Kroner, including 44 million core funding with the remaining 41 million coming from external funding. The microbiology and parasitology groups include researchers with expertise on environmental hygiene used in research focus areas on infectious agents and their interaction, survival and transmission within the external environment and to/from humans and animals, including fish.

In relation to SEAT and its activities within food safety and health aspects of produce from aquaculture, a range of different research activities have been implemented/are ongoing within areas like: fishborne zoonotic parasites in Vietnamese aquaculture; water quality, food safety and health aspects of fish-livestock integrated aquaculture as well as peri-urban aquatic production systems (Cambodia, Thailand, Vietnam). These activities are conducted in south-east Asia where the department has conducted research since 1994. See for example the EU-funded project “Production in Aquatic Peri-Urban Systems in Southeast Asia” (PAPUSSA; and the Fishborne Zoonotic Parasites in Vietnam project (FIBOZOPA; which is funded by the governments of Denmark and Vietnam. The department has the experience and facilities to isolate and characterize bacterial, viral and parasite pathogens as well as various indicator organisms by both traditional and molecular methods in its own laboratories and laboratories abroad. Also, the department has been engaged in risk assessment of aquaculture produce in south-east Asia. The department have access to a number of experimental field sites for its studies on pathogens in Vietnam.

Main tasks attributed:

The department provides inputs to the work packages (WP) 1, 2, 4, 6, 7, 11 and 12 and is leader of WP6. Main research areas include identification of microbiological hazards; fish and environmental microbiological/parasitological sample analyses; and training and quality of microbiological and parasitological analyses. Sample analyses and training activities will be done in close collaboration with SEAT partners in particular those from south-east Asia who will be doing the majority of analyses.

Key Project Personnel:

Principal investigator Dr Anders Dalsgaard is a professor in “Food Security and Safety in Developing Countries” of the microbiology group. He has more than 10-years of experience in food safety and human health research in south-east Asia, in particular in Thailand and Vietnam. He has an in dept knowledge of tropical aquaculture, e.g. through his PhD entitled “Prevalence and significance of bacterial human pathogens in shrimp culture in Thailand” as well as the project on peri-urban aquatic food production systems (PAPUSSA) which was coordinated by the University of Stierling. He has taken part in preparing various risk assessments on seafood safety undertaken by WHO/FAO. He has published widely, including 83 articles in international leading peer-reviewed journals with a focus on developing country issues. He currently co-ordinates two large research capacity building projects in Vietnam on fishborne zoonotic parasites ( and water, sanitation, and health; and participates in the EU-funded SAFIR project ( UCPH - Anders Dalsgard
Dr. Darwin Murrell is an adjunct Professor with 40 years research experience within food-borne zoonotic parasites, their biology, ecology, epidemiology and control. Recently, a main focus of research has been the fishborne zoonotic parasites through the FIBOZOPA project (WP6). He has conducted field studies in many countries, including several south-east Asian countries. He has published widely, including more than 295 articles in international leading peer-reviewed journals with a focus on developing country issues and several reports and book chapters on food safety
Dr. Jesper Clausen
Photo © Loni Hensler