Vaccines could help what's ailing fish

Oct 22, 2010

U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) scientists are developing vaccines to help protect healthy farm-raised catfish against key diseases.

Working as a team, microbiologist Phillip H. Klesius and molecular biologists Julia Pridgeon and Craig Shoemaker with USDA's Agricultural Research Service (ARS) at the agency's Aquatic Animal Health Research Unit in Auburn, Ala., and Joyce J. Evans, aquatic pathologist at the Auburn unit's lab in Chestertown, Md., are developing vaccines against Streptococcus iniae, S. agalactiae and other pathogens.

ARS is USDA's principal intramural scientific research agency. This research supports the USDA priority of promoting international food security.

The scientists modify the of pathogens to make them nonvirulent, and then develop vaccines that expose fish to low doses of the modified forms of the pathogens.

Klesius and Pridgeon have developed a modified live S. iniae that appears to be superior to inactivated or killed vaccines. The live modified vaccine has enough similarity with the pathogen to create a lifelong immunity in fish, according to Klesius.

Scientists are looking at new methods to vaccinate fish. But for now, the vaccination process consists of immersing the fish in water that contains the modified pathogen.

Previous research breakthroughs have benefited the catfish industry. For example, a ARS-developed vaccine against the pathogen Edwardsiella ictaluri, which causes enteric septicemia, has been widely adopted by fish growers.

In an earlier trial, the vaccine against enteric septicemia of catfish was tested by Mississippi State University researchers. Results showed a 12 percent increase in the survival rate of that were given the vaccine, and a substantial increase in returns for producers who used the vaccine in their ponds.

Explore further: Lowly 'new girl' chimps form stronger female bonds

More information: Read more about this and other research on aquaculture in the October 2010 issue of Agricultural Research magazine, available online at: www.ars.usda.gov/is/AR/archive/oct10/ fish1010.htm .

Related Stories

Therapeutic vaccines

Nov 03, 2008

SARS, avian flu, Ebola – outbreaks of deadly viral infections are becoming increasingly frequent. And we still don't have vaccines for many of the pathogens responsible. One of the most dangerous classes of viral diseases ...

Do vaccines cause autism, asthma and diabetes?

Jun 11, 2008

Almost 70% of parents who refuse to vaccinate their children do so because they believe vaccines may cause harm. Indeed vaccines have been blamed for causing asthma, autism, diabetes, and many other conditions--most of which ...

Recommended for you

Estuaries protect Dungeness crabs from deadly parasites

26 minutes ago

Parasitic worms can pose a serious threat to the Dungeness crab, a commercially important fishery species found along the west coast of North America. The worms are thought to have caused or contributed to ...

An evolutionary heads-up—the brain size advantage

1 hour ago

A larger brain brings better cognitive performance. And so it seems only logical that a larger brain would offer a higher survival potential. In the course of evolution, large brains should therefore win ...

Our bond with dogs may go back more than 27,000 years

23 hours ago

Dogs' special relationship to humans may go back 27,000 to 40,000 years, according to genomic analysis of an ancient Taimyr wolf bone reported in the Cell Press journal Current Biology on May 21. Earlier genome ...

Social structure 'helps birds avoid a collision course'

May 21, 2015

The sight of skilful aerial manoeuvring by flocks of Greylag geese to avoid collisions with York's Millennium Bridge intrigued mathematical biologist Dr Jamie Wood. It raised the question of how birds collectively ...

Orchid seductress ropes in unsuspecting males

May 21, 2015

A single population of a rare hammer orchid species known as a master of sexual deception appears to have recently evolved to seduce a new and wider-spread species of impressionable male wasps.

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.