Page Banner

United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: Integrated Aquatic Animal Health Strategies

Location: Aquatic Animal Health Research

Title: Use of vaccination against enteric septicemia of catfish and columnaris disease by the US catfish industry

Authors
item Bebak, Julie
item Wagner, Bruce -

Submitted to: Journal of Aquatic Animal Health
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: November 17, 2011
Publication Date: March 23, 2012
Repository URL: http://handle.nal.usda.gov/10113/55878
Citation: Bebak, J.A., Wagner, B. 2012. Use of vaccination against enteric septicemia of catfish and columnaris disease by the US catfish industry. Journal of Aquatic Animal Health. 24:30-36.

Interpretive Summary: Vaccination is an effective strategy used for the protection of food animals against infectious diseases. The USDA APHIS 2010 NAHMS Catfish Questionnaire included questions related to US catfish industry use of two commercial vaccines that provide protection against enteric septicemia of catfish (ESC) and columnaris disease, producer opinion regarding percent of vaccinated fish they expect to be protected, and general expectations regarding survival of vaccinated compared to non-vaccinated fish. During 2009, 9.7% of the total fingerling operations used one or both vaccines, and vaccinated 12.3% and 17.0% of the total industry fry production against ESC or columnaris disease, respectively. Of the producers who grew foodsize fish to harvest, 6.7% used vaccinated catfish. The farms not using vaccinated fish for growout had a mean size of 156.6 water acres. The operations that used vaccinated fish were larger, with a mean of 510.6 acres. The producers stocking vaccinated fish for growout represented 19.0% and 16.6% of the total acreage of foodfish production for the ESC and columnaris vaccines, respectively. Of the producers stocking fish vaccinated against ESC or columnaris disease, 41.9% and 46.2%, respectively, thought that survival was better in vaccinated fish. For either vaccine, 37.5% for ESC and 39.7% for columnaris, producers did not know whether vaccination improved survival rates. When all producers were asked about their expectations regarding the percentage of vaccinated fish that would be protected from disease, 52.4% responded that they expected 100% of their fish to be protected. More information about reasonable expectations regarding vaccine efficacy, the conditions under which immunosuppression and vaccine failure can occur, and assessment of vaccine performance may result in increased use of vaccination as a tool for the industry.

Technical Abstract: Vaccination is an effective strategy used for the protection of food animals against infectious diseases. The USDA APHIS 2010 NAHMS Catfish Questionnaire included questions related to US catfish industry use of two commercial vaccines that provide protection against enteric septicemia of catfish (ESC) and columnaris disease, producer opinion regarding percent of vaccinated fish they expect to be protected, and general expectations regarding survival of vaccinated compared to non-vaccinated fish. During 2009, 9.7% of the total fingerling operations used one or both vaccines, and vaccinated 12.3% and 17.0% of the total industry fry production against ESC or columnaris disease, respectively. Of the producers who grew foodsize fish to harvest, 6.7% used vaccinated catfish. The farms not using vaccinated fish for growout had a mean size of 156.6 water acres. The operations that used vaccinated fish were larger, with a mean of 510.6 acres. The producers stocking vaccinated fish for growout represented 19.0% and 16.6% of the total acreage of foodfish production for the ESC and columnaris vaccines, respectively. Of the producers stocking fish vaccinated against ESC or columnaris disease, 41.9% and 46.2%, respectively, thought that survival was better in vaccinated fish. For either vaccine, 37.5% for ESC and 39.7% for columnaris, producers did not know whether vaccination improved survival rates. When all producers were asked about their expectations regarding the percentage of vaccinated fish that would be protected from disease, 52.4% responded that they expected 100% of their fish to be protected. More information about reasonable expectations regarding vaccine efficacy, the conditions under which immunosuppression and vaccine failure can occur, and assessment of vaccine performance may result in increased use of vaccination as a tool for the industry.

Last Modified: 11/27/2014
Footer Content Back to Top of Page