Indian Immunologicals Limited (IIL) has announced a groundbreaking partnership with the Central Institute of Freshwater Aquaculture (CIFA) to develop a vaccine against Hemorrhagic Septicemia in freshwater fish, a deadly infection caused by the pathogenic bacterium Aeromonas hydrophila. The partnership is a significant step forward for India’s aquaculture sector, which has long struggled with disease outbreaks and economic losses.
IIL’s foray into aquaculture began in 2022 with the launch of products for pond management and gut health in fish and shrimp. The company’s decision to develop fish vaccines with ICAR-CIFA reflects a commitment to sustainable and environmentally friendly solutions for disease control. As Dr. Priyabrata Pattnaik, Deputy Managing Director of IIL, notes, the company’s long-term strategic objective is to reduce the use of antibiotics and antimicrobial resistance in the environment as part of the “One Health” initiative.
The stakes are high: with fisheries providing a livelihood for millions of Indians and the country being the world’s third-largest producer of fish, the economic impact of disease outbreaks is significant. By developing a vaccine against Hemorrhagic Septicemia, IIL and ICAR-CIFA aim to mitigate losses and improve the health of India’s freshwater fish populations. Dr. Pramoda Kumar Sahoo, Director of ICAR-CIFA, expressed his satisfaction at the partnership, noting that the vaccine could be a game-changer for aquaculture in India.