ARS researchers have developed a new live vaccine that is safe and effective for the control of Flavobacterium columnare in catfish. F. columnare is an aquatic bacterium that infects channel catfish, sport fish such as perch, walleye, pike, centrachids (bass and sunfish), aquarium fish and baitfish. Columnaris is the second leading cause of mortality in pond raised catfish in the southeastern United States. Currently, there is no vaccine available that functions by reducing the bacteria’s ability to stick to catfish and other warm water fish. In addition to reducing antibiotic and chemical use in aquatic production systems, this vaccine could provide an estimated savings of $100 million annually to the aquaculture industry.
Medicated feed with several chemotherapeutics currently used to control the disease have limited effect and are not approved for use on food fish. Most producers have discontinued use of medicated feeds. The vaccine, which can be given by injection or by immersion, is effective in providing long lasting acquired immunity in channel catfish to F. columnare.
Companies that make vaccines for aquaculture could use this technology. Developing a Flavobacterium columnare vaccine could potentially save aquaculture producers money by preventing this disease.
Please refer to USPN 6,984,388 (Docket #0180.03), “Adhesion Deficient Isolate of Flavobacterium columnare Against Columnaris Disease,” which issued on January 10, 2006. Foreign rights are available.
Joel A. Bader Craig Shoemaker
Aquatic Animal Health Research (Same as first inventor)
990 Wire Road (334) 887-3741 / Fax: (334) 887-2983
Auburn, AL 36831-0952 Cshoemaker@ars.usda.gov
(334) 887-3741 / Fax: (334) 887-2983
Phillip Harry Klesius
(Same as first inventor)
(334) 887-4526 / Fax: (334) 887-2983