September 22, 2020

 

India to commercialise bacteriophage therapy for aquaculture


 

A bacteriophage-based product that is effective in controlling the bacterial diseases in shrimp hatchery settings, developed by the ICAR-Central Institute of Brackishwater Aquaculture (CIBA), is targeted for commercial production, following the signing of a memorandum of understanding for technology transfer to Salem Microbes Private Limited.


The "phage prophylaxis and therapy" 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. In contrast to the use of antibiotics, bacteriophage therapy leave 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," says S V Alavandi, the principal scientist and head of Aquatic Animal Health and Environment Division of CIBA.