Submitted to: Annual Eastern Fish Health Workshop
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: February 22, 2006
Publication Date: March 28, 2006
Citation: Panangala, V.S., Klesius, P.H., Evans, J.J., Shoemaker, C.A. 2006. Beneficial use of attenuated vaccines in aquaculture. 31st Annual Eastern Fish Health Workshop. March 28-30, 2006. Charleston, SC. page 23. Technical Abstract: The success of safe and effective vaccines in controlling disease and enhancing profitability in livestock production has been profound. Because fish farmers operate on narrow profit margins, cost effectiveness is of paramount importance in any vaccination program. In aquaculture, the best vaccines should offer ease of administration with the minimum of stress, long-term protection, and lowered production cost. Within these parameters, the vaccines should be efficacious in protecting fry that are most vulnerable to disease-causing agents until the pond-stock is ready for the market. With these objectives in view, two new vaccines for immunization of catfish against Edwardsiella ictaluri [the cause of enteric septicemia in catfish (ESC)] and Flavobacterium columnare (cause of columnaris disease) were developed, field tested, and licensed for immunization of 7-10 day post-hatch fry by immersion exposure. The USDA, Agricultural Research Service developed vaccines licensed to Intervet and marketed under the trade names AQUAVAC-ESC® and AQUAVAC-COL® are used for protection of fish against ESC and columnaris disease respectively. The vaccines have augmented survival rates and provided protection up to periods of 1 to 2 years. The cost benefits of vaccination with AQUAVAC-ESC alone, is estimated by Intervet to be $1,706 per pond acre compared with similarly farmed non-vaccinated catfish. Notably, attenuated vaccines have a proven record of safety and efficacy for vaccination of poultry, swine and cattle. Since many bacterial pathogens are ubiquitous in the aquatic environment, attenuated vaccines should afford adequate long-term protection until fish are ready for market distribution.