New treatment tackles costly parasitic disease for freshwater farmed and ornamental fish

fish school
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A compound has been identified by researchers from the EU-funded ParaFishControl project, which examines fish-parasite interactions in aquaculture. Its effectiveness in treating certain parasitic diseases led researchers to submit a patent for its production.

The treatment was first tested on the I. multifiliis parasite, which causes white spot disease in a range of freshwater fish. The disease is highly damaging for both the ornamental and farmed fish industries due to its .

A new company, Sundew, has been founded to further develop and commercialize the compound. The Copenhagen-based SME will facilitate the development of large-scale production and purification of the product, which it has named BIOKOS.

The need for new treatments arose following the ban of malachite green, which was found to be carcinogenic and genotoxic. No other compound to date has been as effective for control of the infection.

Sundew researchers are hopeful that BIOKOS will be in high demand in both the aquaculture and ornamental production markets. Aquaculture production alone is valued at over €5 billion per year in the EU.

This new treatment, and many other results originating from the past five years of research within ParaFishControl, will be presented at the project's Final Conference "Innovative Strategies to Control Parasites in Aquaculture Farms" in Brussels on 11 March 2020.

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