Studies on vaccination of channel catfish, ictalurus punctatus, against edwardsiella ictaluri

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Enteric septicemia of cattish (ESC), caused by the bacterium Edwardsiella ictaluri, has become the most significant disease problem affecting the commercial channel catfish, Ictalurus punctatus, industry in the United States. Although antibiotics are used extensively for the control of ESC, there are inherent problems associated with their use. Consequently, experiments were initiated to evaluate the effectiveness of vaccination program that used immersion and oral delivery methods to administer a killed E. ictaluri vaccine to fry and fingerling channel cafish. In a preliminary pond study with laboratory challenge, mortality in a group vaccinated with a combination of immersion and oral procedures was only 5.0% in both high- and low-dose challenges. This was significantly different (P c 0.01) from non-vaccinated controls, which had 46.7%mortality in the lowdose challenge and the 6 1.7% mortality in the highdose challenge. This corresponds to relative percent survival (RPS) values of 89.3 and 91.9 respectively. Subsequent field trials further indicated the efficacy of a vaccination program for the prevention of ESC in channel catfish. In 1987-1988, a field study was conducted using 12 commercial ponds, with three replicates of four treatments. The four treatments included vaccination by immersion only, oral only, a combination of both immersion and oral procedures, and non-vaccinated conwols. Relative percent survival was 57.4 for the immersion only treatment, 50.3 for the oral only treatment, and 53.5 for the combination immersion and oral treatment. In 1989-1990, no significant difference was found between vaccinated and non-vaccinated fish. However, in 1989-1990, a vaccine-oil emulsion was topcoated on a floating feed, rather than incorporating vaccine in a sinking pellet. In 1990-1991, overall mortality in vaccinated fish was significantly less (P < 0.05) than non-vaccinated fish, with 41.2% mortality in vaccinates compared to 63.5% in non-vaccinated fish, for an RPS of 35.1. In examining RPS values for individual farms, two farms had excellent results, with RPS values of 81.3 and 76.9; two farms had only moderate success, with RPS values of 26.6 and 15.4; and one location had greater mortality in the vaccinated fish than in the non-vaccinated fish. However, that farm had only two ponds in the study and experienced significant losses to proliferative gill disease in the pond with vaccinated fish. © 1994 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.

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Journal of Applied Aquaculture

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