1a.Objectives (from AD-416)
The objective of this cooperative research project is to allow exchanges of scientific personnel, to plan and implement cooperative research in fish health. The objectives of the collaborative research under this agreement is the development of molecular-based diagnostic tools for early and rapid detection of fish pathogens, characterization of immune response genes to infection and vaccination, development and tests of fish vaccines that may be useful for the prevention of diseases of tilapia and catfish. The bacterial pathogens to be investigated include Aeromonas hydrophila, Francisella sp., Edwardsiella sp., Streptococcus iniae, S. agalactiae and S. dysagalactiae.
1b.Approach (from AD-416)
Bacterial vaccines will be developed using molecular and immunological techniques that may identify immunodominant antigens which are responsible for protective immunity in fish. ARS has developed and published techniques for detection of immunodominant antigens and methods used in the evaluation of immune responses and immune response genes. The ARS research will aid in the development and evaluation of fish vaccines against the selected pathogens. The vaccines to be developed include killed, oral, recombinant and modified live types depending on the requirements of the producer. ARS has developed and published methods for detection and identification of fish pathogens using molecular and immunological based methods. Diagnostic tools will be developed and evaluated for fish pathogens of mutual interest. ARS has published in immune gene research and we will mutually conduct gene expression quantitative measure using RNA, real-time PCR and molecular biological techniques with the cooperator.
World food security of seafood is an ARS goal and the development and use of fish vaccines to prevent diseases that results in the loss of millions of fish annually, will help ensure aquaculture security. This project will study the effect of vaccination, early pathogen detection, and global change on fish health. ARS scientists previously (2004-2009) performed successful collaboration with this research institute focused on the efficacy of bacterial pathogen vaccines in tilapia under field conditions which has led to the establishment of this agreement. Emails were used to define the objectives and approaches of this new agreement. Emails, phone calls, and site visits will be used to monitor the progress of this project. A site visit and a training workshop by ARS scientists in Auburn have been scheduled for 2010 or 2011. A site visit by Pearl River Fisheries Research Institute has been scheduled for 2010. Vaccine research related to the objectives of this agreement is underway by both ARS and the cooperator.