Enhanced tilapia mucosal immunity by nano-immersion vaccine against columnaris disease  


Aquaculture is the fastest growing animal food production sector globally and very important to food security. Reaching harvest size in just 6 months, tilapia is a very important aquaculture species for many low to middle income countries (LIMCs), since they provide an important source of protein and essential revenue for many low-income families. Intensification of tilapia farming has promoted severe disease outbreaks, resulting in high mortalities and economic hardship for tilapia farmers. Columnaris disease, caused by Flavobacterium columnare, has emerged as one of most important bacterial diseases for farmed tilapia, for which there is no commercial vaccine, and farmers resort to using antibiotics to control this disease.

With increasing concerns about using antibiotics in aquaculture, attention had focused on vaccination for disease control. Many tilapia farmers will not vaccinate by injection once the fish have been moved onto the farm and would prefer fish to be vaccinate in the hatchery before they are moved to their grow-out site; however, injection of small fish is difficult. Alternative vaccine delivery methods are needed, such as oral or immersion delivery, but vaccines delivered by these routes tend to provide low efficacy and short duration of protection. We will investigate a novel and innovative immersion vaccine for columnaris disease in tilapia. We will delivery inactivated Flavobacterium columnare to tilapia in nanoparticles, coated with a mucoadhesive biopolymer, to provide "pathogen-like" properties that enhance binding of the nanoparticles to fish mucosal membranes and we will assess the immune response and level of protection elicited by these in vaccinated tilapia.

Nopadon Pirarat

Dr Nopadon Pirarat
Associate Professor
Chulalongkorn University (Thailand)

Dr Sirikorn Kitiyodom, Chulalongkorn University (Thailand)

Dr Teerapong Yata, Chulalongkorn University (Thailand)

Dr Channarong Rodkhum, Chulalongkorn University (Thailand)

Dr E P Preetham, Kerala University of Fisheries and Ocean Studies (India)

Dr Kim Thompson, Moredun Research Institute (UK)

Dr Janina Costa, Moredun Research Institute (UK)