Location: Aquatic Animal Health Research2011 Annual Report
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 pathogen 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.
3. Progress Report
The objective of this cooperative research project is the development of molecular based diagnostic tools for early and rapid detection of fish pathogens and characterization of immune response genes to infection and vaccination. Virulence and molecular differences between highly virulent and less virulent field isolates of Aeromonas hydrophila have been investigated and putative virulence factors have been found. Molecular responses of Nile tilapia to killed Streptococcus iniae vaccination have been conducted. Three manuscripts have been accepted for publication in peer-reviewed journals. The project is monitored through e-mails with cooperators for planning, implementing, discussion of research and analyzing data.