Area of Expertise:
In the Marine Parasitology Program, Dr. Jones and teams’ research addresses three aspects of parasite infections in fish. They study the structural and genomic characterization of parasites to assist in their identification. These studies also provide measures of variability within parasite populations and allow us to predict how parasites interact with the host. Secondly, they study the defense responses of the host to better understand resistance to parasite infection. Finally, their research explores the development and application of treatment and immunisation strategies that enhance resistance within a population through the use of novel therapeutic, vaccine or immunostimulant formulations. The results of this research are closely linked to the growth of sustainable salmon aquaculture in Canada.
Dr. Jones is the lead scientist in the finfish parasitology program at DFO’s Pacific Biological Station. Parasitology research falls into three broad areas: biodiversity, life cycle studies, and host parasite interactions. The program also addresses the extent to which parasites are transmitted between wild and farmed salmon populations, and the consequences of this transmission.
The parasite biodiversity area identifies novel parasite taxa and improves knowledge on the distribution and abundance of existing parasites that present risks to the health of commercially valuable salmon. Some recently described parasites that are new to science or to British Columbia include Parvicapsula kabatai and Sphaerospora elwhaiensis, parasites of the salmon kidney, and Facilispora margolisi and Desmozoon lepeophtheri, both parasites of sea lice, which are themselves parasites of salmon. In addition to light and electron microscopy and molecular biology, novel parasite diagnostic strategies are developed to aid this research. For example, diagnostic antibodies harvested from the eggs of immunised chickens are used to identify species of Loma, which are important gill parasites of fish. The life cycle studies area uses controlled laboratory studies to identify factors that are important in regulating parasite transmission. Recently established laboratory models for the transmission of salmon lice have shown that species of Pacific salmon differ significantly in their susceptibility to this parasite. The research also provided the first evidence that locally abundant sticklebacks are highly susceptible to the salmon louse, confirming field observations.
The host-parasite interactions area uses immunological and molecular biological tools to assess the consequences of parasite infections on salmon. The differential susceptibility to sea lice observed among salmon species is now known to be related to different biochemical pathways that occur in the skin and kidney.
NAAHP related research conducted by Dr. Jones: Ceratomyxa shasta (Ceratomyxosis)
Select Presentation(s) / Publication(s):
Long, Amy & A. Garver, Kyle & Jones, Simon. (2018). Differential Effects of Adult Salmon Lice Lepeophtheirus salmonis on Physiological Responses of Sockeye Salmon and Atlantic Salmon. Journal of Aquatic Animal Health. 10.1002/aah.10053.
Byrne, Allison & M. Pearce, Christopher & Cross, Stephen & Jones, Simon & Robinson, Shawn & J. Hutchinson, Marilyn & Miller, Matthew & A. Haddad, Colleen & Johnson, Devan. (2018). Field assessment of Pacific oyster (Crassostrea gigas) growth and ingestion of planktonic salmon louse (Lepeophtheirus salmonis) larvae at an Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) farm in British Columbia, Canada. Aquaculture. 490. 53-63. 10.1016/j.aquaculture.2018.01.034.
Byrne, Allison & M. Pearce, Christopher & Cross, Stephen & Jones, Simon & Robinson, Shawn & J. Hutchinson, Marilyn & Miller, Matthew & A. Haddad, Colleen & Johnson, Devan. (2017). Planktonic and parasitic stages of sea lice ( Lepeophtheirus salmonis and Caligus clemensi ) at a commercial Atlantic salmon ( Salmo salar ) farm in British Columbia, Canada. Aquaculture. 486. 10.1016/j.aquaculture.2017.12.009.
Mimeault, C & Wade, J & Foreman, M & C Chandler, P & Aubry, Pascale & A Garver, K & Grant, Sue & Holt, C & Jones, Simon & Johnson, Stewart & Trudel, Marc & Burgetz, Ingrid & J Parsons, G. (2017). Canadian Science Advisory Secretariat (CSAS) Assessment of the risk to Fraser River Sockeye Salmon due to Infectious Hematopoietic Necrosis Virus (IHNV) transfer from Atlantic Salmon farms in the Discovery Islands, British Columbia.