Page Banner

United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Vaccines: Prevention of Diseases in Aquatic Animals

item Klesius, Phillip
item Shoemaker, Craig
item Evans, Joyce
item Lim, Chhorn

Submitted to: Book of Abstracts Aquaculture America
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: July 31, 1998
Publication Date: January 27, 1999

Technical Abstract: The use of vaccines to prevent diseases of cultured food fish is increasing with rapid growth in the numbers of fish species cultured worldwide. Vaccines provide life long and cost-effective protection against specific infectious agents by stimulating the fish's defense system. Health management practices that include the use of vaccines are significantly reducing the use of antibiotics and chemicals that have caused environmental and human health problems. In the past five years, the number of vaccines available has significantly increased for use in Atlantic salmon, rainbow trout, channel catfish, turbot, sea-bass, sea bream and cod. Vaccines are needed for tilapia and hybrid bass that are subjected to significant losses due to certain infectious bacteria in intensive culture systems. Currently, the majority of fish vaccines are killed products that require the use of adjuvants for boostering their efficacy and duration of protection. Modified live or attenuated vaccines are improved products that are being tested for licensing and use in channel catfish against enteric septicemia of a catfish. Attenuated vaccines are more advantageous because they stimulate both cellular and humoral defenses, do not require adjuvants and are more easily administrated at low cost. Certain types of adjuvants cause adverse reactions and loss of the product. Licensed vaccines in use today are designed to provide protection against bacterial diseases. Vaccines against Vibrio anguilarum, V. ordalii, V. salmonicida, Yersinia ruckeri, Aeromonas salmonicidia and Edwardsiella ictaluri are commercially available. They are administrated by either injection, immersion or incorporation in the feed. Salmonid vaccines are commonly administrated by injection of individual fish, the most costly and time-consuming method. An immersion route is both less costly and time consuming. Immunization of very young fish in large numbers is better accomplished by immersion vaccines, in minutes, with less stress on the fish. Oral immunization is still in the experimental stage, but is a route that offers distinct advantages, if problems with manufacturing and shelf life can be solved. The optimal age to immunize fish was believed to be not before 30 days post-hatch. Our research demonstrated that an E. ictaluri attenuated vaccine works in fish as young as 1-2 days post- hatch, when challenged at 40 days post- hatch with virulent E. ictaluri. In the channel catfish industry, 7-10 day fry are released into ponds where they exposed and susceptible to E. ictaluri without protection provided through vaccination in the hatchery. DNA vaccines and recombinant vaccines are being developed and experimentally tested. Problems in the use of these types of vaccines need be solved butit is hoped that viral and parasite vaccines can be developed from gene designed and attenuated vaccines. Fish vaccinology will encounter similar problems associated with vaccines used in other animal species that include lack of protection against all serovars and the emergence of new serovars in intensive culture systems. The use of fish vaccines is justified economically by significantly reducing the production cost. These benefits include reduced mortality, prevention of decreased growth and performance due to infection, reduction in wasted feed and reduced use of chemicals and antibiotics. The practice of fish vaccination is a major tool in effective fish health management programs designed to improve product safety and prevent pollution of environment

Last Modified: 4/22/2015
Footer Content Back to Top of Page