Indian Immunologicals, ICAR-CIFE venture into commercial development of fish vaccines

Indian Immunologicals, ICAR-CIFE venture into commercial development of fish vaccines

Mumbai: Indian Immunologicals Limited (IIL), a subsidiary of the National Dairy Development Board (NDDB) and a leading vaccine manufacturer, has announced a partnership with the Central Institute of Fisheries Education (CIFE), Mumbai, an Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) institute for the commercial development of vaccines against common bacterial diseases in freshwater fishes. IIL has forayed into aqua business in October 2022 by launching products for the aquaculture health market dealing with pond management and fish or shrimp gut management.

The aquaculture sector plays a vital role in meeting the rising global protein demand as the world population is expected to reach 9.8 billion by 2050. India is the 3rd largest fish producer in the global sphere and more than 65 per cent of India’s fish is produced through inland fisheries and aquaculture. In terms of employment, the sector supports the livelihood of over 28 million people in India, especially the marginalised and vulnerable communities. Export earnings from the fisheries sector was US$7.76 billion during 2021-2022.

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Speaking on entering into the vaccine for fishes, Dr K Anand Kumar, Managing Director, Indian Immunologicals said, “IIL has introduced several innovative veterinary vaccines first to the world, like Porcine Cysticercosis vaccine, FMD+HS+BQ combination vaccine and Theileria vaccine. IIL is again the first in India to get fish vaccines. We are committed to introducing more and more products for the aquaculture market and help shrimp and fish growers to increase their productivity and protect fish schools from various diseases.”

IIL strive to explore solutions for the prevailing challenges faced by Indian fish farmers in their farm production system. ICAR-CIFE will provide technology for two inactivated bacterial vaccines, one for Columnaris Disease, a serious condition affecting numerous freshwater fish species, and other for Edwardsiellosis causes a high degree of mortality, leading to severe economic losses. Both diseases are extremely common in freshwater fishes and are generally considered to be ubiquitous.

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Highlighting the development, Dr. Priyabrata Pattnaik, Deputy Managing Director, Indian Immunologicals said, “IIL is planning to introduce vaccines and immunostimulants with tech transfer from various fisheries institutes under ICAR. Several fish vaccine candidates are currently being evaluated by IIL for commercialisation. Launch of such vaccines may have a positive impact on reducing indiscriminate use of chemical or antibiotic based treatment methods, helping reduce antimicrobial resistance by fish farmers practicing environmentally sustainable ways of pond and fish health management.”

Underling the collaboration, Dr. CN Ravishankar, Director and Vice Chancellor, ICAR, Central Institute of Fisheries Education said, “In support to India’s Blue Revolution, I am glad that CIFE and IIL have come together to partner in developing India’s fist bacterial fish vaccine.”

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Aquaculture in India suffers economic losses due to infections caused by several bacterial, viral, fungal, and other aetiological agents. Currently, these infections are being managed by anti-infectives and other conventional measures with varying degrees of success. With the rising concern pertaining to antimicrobial resistance (AMR) and chemical-free food products both at global and domestic platforms, there is a growing need for better control measures against these infections. Currently, there is no fish vaccine available in India on a commercial scale to prevent aquaculture infections.

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