CIBA develops product to curb bacterial disease in shrimp hatcheries and produce quality shrimp seeds


At a time when bacterial disease is posing a major threat to shrimp seed production, the Central Institute of Brackishwater Aquaculture (CIBA) has developed a bacteriophage-based product that is effective in bio-control of the bacterial diseases in shrimp hatchery settings that would help produce quality shrimp seeds, free from antibiotics.

The ‘phage prophylaxis and therapy’ developed by CIBA 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 has advantages of being 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 across the globe. CIBA’s new product will be of great use in preventing and controlling such diseases in aquaculture especially in shrimp hatcheries,” said SV Alavandi, Principal Scientist and Head of Aquatic Animal Health and Environment Division of CIBA, which developed the new-gen technology to Hindu BusinessLine.

“A broad spectrum of lytic bacteriophages from aquaculture system and coastal ecosystem of India used for the formulation of the product which was proved its efficacy in field evaluation trials,” he said.

Bacteriophages and their lytic enzymes are in use for therapy of bacterial infections in human and animals, as biocontrol agents for food protection also as tools in molecular biology.

Referring to the novelty of the technology, CIBA Director K K Vijayan informed the product comprises a ‘cocktail of phages’ that can neutralise a wide range of pathogenic bacteria-causing diseases and is helpful in replacing the use of antibiotics which, according to him, pose the concern of residues and antimicrobial resistance.

Aimed at popularising the product through large-scale commercial production and marketing, CIBA has signed an MoU with Salem Microbes Private Limited, to transfer the technology to the latter. The industrial partnership is crucial in promoting the technology among the shrimp farming community, he said and emphasised the need for increased collaboration between research institutions and industrial players to bring out novel technology to the stakeholders for sustainable development of brackishwater aquaculture in the country.

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