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Furunculosis Vaccine Efficacy for Atlantic Salmon



The Bay d'Espoir strain of atypical furunculosis has caused significant financial losses for salmonid farms in Newfoundland. Although much research has been done on furunculosis of salmonids, the Newfoundland Salmonid Growers Association (NSGA) has been anxious to quantify the efficacy of existing furunculosis vaccines under Bay d'Espoir conditions and determine if development of new fish health intervention tools is warranted. Accordingly, the NSGA proposed a proactive and visionary research program under the ACRDP. The research program was implemented in 2001 to characterize the nature of the pathogen itself, investigate possible alternative treatments for controlling the pathogen, and the potential for development of new vaccines should the efficacy of existing vaccines prove limited.

The first two years of the research initiative established the taxonomy of the bacterium, its severe pathogenicity, and a disease-challenge model with which to determine commercial-vaccine efficacy under laboratory and field conditions. In 2003/04, the vaccine study was performed using controlled laboratory challenges that quantified vaccine efficacy in the laboratory and provided the criteria on which to base selection of vaccines for field trials. Literature reviews has been conducted in the area of the usage of both bacteriphage and immunostimulants as alternative health management tools. The research for 2004/06 draws on those laboratory results to conduct actual field trials to the Bay d'Espoir strain of Aeromonas salmonicida subspecies nova at actual Bay d'Espoir salmon farms. ACRDP funding has been used to purchase the required number of Pit tags that will be applied in clinical trials to be performed at Newfoundland sites. The sites will be intensely monitored, thus facilitating direct comparisons of growth and survival in a more holistic context. This field trial is a randomized, double-blind clinical trial set at different marine site locations in Bay d' Espoir. NSGA will gain valuable insight through individual growth, survival and efficiency data as outcomes at the individual fish level will be recorded under diverse field conditions.

Program Name

Aquaculture Collaborative Research and Development Program (ACRDP)


2001 - 2006


Atlantic: Newfoundland, Labrador Shelves

Principal Investigator(s)

Atef Mansour


Final Technical Project Report (PDF)

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