Hyderabad-based Indian Immunologicals Limited to develop vaccine for fish

Vaccine was developed against Hemorrhagic Septicemia - ulcer disease in freshwater fish.

By Newsmeter Network  Published on  13 March 2023 2:15 PM GMT
fish vaccine

Representational Image 

Hyderabad: The Indian Immunologicals Limited (IIL), a Hyderabad-based vaccine manufacturer, has announced a partnership with the Central Institute of Freshwater Aquaculture (CIFA), Bhubaneswar, an Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) Institute, for the commercial development of a vaccine against Hemorrhagic Septicemia, also called Aeromonas Septicemia, ulcer disease or red-sore disease in freshwater fish.

IIL ventured into the aqua business in October 2022 by launching products for aquaculture health market dealing with pond management and fish or shrimp gut management.

Dr K Anand Kumar Managing Director, IIL (4th from left), Dr P Pattnaik Deputy MD, IIL (3rd from left) and Dr. Pramoda Kumar Sahoo, Director of CIFA (5th from left), along with other senior officials during the signing off the MoU for the development of fish vaccines.

Aquaculture livelihood for 28 million people

Aquaculture sectors play a vital role in India’s economy, and the fisheries sector is a means of livelihood for 28 million people in the country. India is the third largest fish producer in the world.

More than 65% of India’s fish is through Inland fisheries and aquaculture. The main constraint to aquaculture globally, however, is disease with an estimate that 20% of all cultured aquatic animals are lost because of infectious diseases, amounting to around US$ 10 billion in losses annually on a global scale.

Fishes get affected by pathogenic bacteria

Hemorrhagic Septicemia in freshwater fishes is caused by aeromonas hydrophila, an opportunistic pathogenic bacterium. This infection is the scourge of fresh and brackish water fish farming worldwide and is considered a significant economic problem in Indian aquaculture. All the cultured freshwater fish species in India like rohu, catla, mrigal, silver carp, grass carp, common carp, medium carps, channel catfish, eel, etc., are susceptible to this disease.

Antibiotic-resistant fishes

Over the years, antibiotics and chemotherapeutants are used for controlling bacterial diseases including A. hydrophila. Now, bacterial pathogens have become resistant to these chemicals, when used over an extended period, and some chemicals pose environmental health hazards. In this context, vaccination is the most promising and environmentally safe concept for controlling diseases.

Vaccine is the only protection

Dr. K. Anand Kumar, managing director of Indian Immunologicals Limited, said, “IIL is the first in India to get to fish vaccines. We are aware of the challenges associated with being the first, having been in similar situations for many other livestock vaccines. We are working at multiple fronts in defining pathways for commercial development of fish vaccines in India.”

Dr. Priyabrata Pattnaik, deputy managing director of Indian Immunologicals Limited, added, “IIL is committed to developing vaccines for the fisheries sector with a long-term strategic objective of reducing the use of antibiotics thereby antimicrobial resistance in the environment, as part of “One Health” initiative.”

Dr. Pramoda Kumar Sahoo, director of ICAR-CIFA, said, “Currently, there are no fish vaccines available in India on a commercial scale to prevent aquaculture infections. Scientists from CIFA conducted years of research to develop a vaccine candidate against Aeromonas Septicemia. I am glad that IIL has come forward for commercial development of this vaccine.”

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