Submitted to: World Aquaculture Society Meeting
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: September 1, 1997
Publication Date: February 15, 1998
Citation: KLESIUS, P.H., SHOEMAKER, C.A., EVANS, J.J. WARM-WATER FISH VACCINES: DEVELOPMENT AND USE. WORLD AQUACULTURE SOCIETY MEETING. 1998. p. 299. Technical Abstract: The prevention of infectious diseases id accomplished by provoking acquired immunity with vaccines. Vaccines have been one of the key management tools to the successful development of today's poultry industry. Poultry vaccines have prevented many costly diseases and decreased the need and use of antibiotics of chemical treatments. However, the development and use of vaccines to prevent diseases of catfish have been slow because of the industry's initial dependency on chemotherapeutic treatments, the lack of information on the fish immune system and inadequate research capacity for the development and testing of effective vaccines. Control of infectious disease using chemotherapeutic treatments is less effective and more costly in comparison to vaccination. Fish have humoral and cellular arms of their immune system and the nature of the disease process determines which arm is more effective in providing protective immunity. Intracellular pathogens, for example, Edwardsiella ictaluri, the cause of enteric septicemia of catfish (ESC) required the cellular arm to acquire immunity. Toxin producing infectious agents and some viruses require the neutralizing ability of antibodies, the humoral arm. Attenuated vaccines are more effective in stimultating the cellular arm. The attenuated E. ictaluri RE-33 vaccine is effective in the prevention of ESC (about 90 to 95 % relative survival). Channel catfish immunized at 200 times the RE-33 vaccine dose had no ESC. RE-33 vaccinates were protected for at least 6 months without boosters. The RE-33 vaccine is being field-tested with permission form USDA, Animal Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) and state veterinarians of Alabama and Mississippi for approval as an ESC vaccine. We believe safe attenuated vaccines that are low cost, easy to administer, effective in the youngest life stages and provide long lasting protection without boosters are the best answer to infectious disease management. The development and use of vaccines in fish will economically benefit the aquaculture industry decreasing fish losses and reducing the use of chemotherapeutics.