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New Delhi: Hyderabad-based Indian Immunologicals Ltd (IIL) said it has joined hands with the Central Institute of Fisheries Education (CIFE) for the commercial development of India’s first fish vaccine.

The vaccine will be developed to protect freshwater fish against common bacterial diseases.

CIFE, an Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) institute, will provide technology for two inactivated bacterial vaccines, one for Columnaris Disease, a serious condition affecting numerous freshwater fish species, and other for Edwardsiellosis that cause high degree of mortality, leading to severe economic losses. Both the diseases are extremely common in freshwater fish and is generally considered to be ubiquitous.

“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 to 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,“ said Dr K Anand Kumar, Managing Director, Indian Immunologicals Limited.

“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 commercialization. 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," said Dr. Priyabrata Pattnaik, Deputy Managing Director, Indian Immunologicals Limited.

IIL strives to explore solutions for the prevailing challenges faced by Indian fish farmers in their farm production system. Currently there is no fish vaccines available in India on a commercial scale to prevent aquaculture infections.

Aquaculture sectors play a vital role in meeting the rising global protein demand as 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% of India’s fish is through Inland Fisheries and Aquaculture.

In terms of employment, the sector supports the livelihood of over 28 million people in India especially the marginalized and vulnerable communities. Export earnings from the fisheries sector was $ 7.76 bn during 2021-2022.

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