CHENNAI: At a time when bacterial diseases are posing threat to shrimp seed production, the ICAR-Central Institute of Brackishwater Aquaculture (CIBA) has developed a bacteriophage-based product that is effective in controlling the bacterial diseases in shrimp hatchery settings.
The ‘phage prophylaxis and therapy’ developed by the institute is based on bacteriophages which are viruses that kill only specific disease-causing bacteria and act as therapeutic agents in controlling bacterial infections, according to CIBA scientists. Unlike in the case of antibiotics, bacteriophage therapy has no residual issues and is specific to their host bacteria without harming other micro-organisms, they said.
“In aquaculture hatcheries, bacterial diseases like vibriosis often cause considerable economic loss to hatchery operators. CIBA’s new product will be of great use in preventing and controlling such diseases in aquaculture especially in shrimp hatcheries,” said S V Alavandi, the principal scientist and head of Aquatic Animal Health and Environment Division of CIBA.
CIBA Director K K Vijayan said the product comprises a ‘cocktail of phages’ which can neutralise a wide range of pathogenic bacteria-causing diseases and is helpful in replacing the use of antibiotics.
Aiming commercial production, the CIBA has signed an MoU with Salem Microbes Private Limited, Salem, to transfer the technology to the latter.