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Safety and Interference Studies of a Recombinant Subunit Vaccine against the Sea Louse Lepeophtheirus salmonis and Determination of the Efficacy and Duration of the Immunity



In farmed populations of salmon, Atlantic salmon show the greatest susceptibility to sea lice followed by chinook and rainbow trout, with coho being the most resistant Chemotherapeutants are the primary method of controlling infestations In Canada, however, there is only one drug available for use, emamectin benzoate (SLICE®, Schering Plough). While SLICE® has proven to be an effective method of reducing infestations with a durational effect lasting much longer than the treatment period its effect is still short lived relative to the seawater phase of farmed salmon so that multiple treatments are often required during the grow-out period of a single year class of farmed salmon. Reliance on chemotherapeutants concerns both environmental non-government organizations (ENGOs) and salmon farmers as well as the general public. Clearly, reliance on chemotherapeutants for control of sea lice in farmed salmon populations is not an optimal method of control. Consequently, the development of a cost effective, efficacious sea lice vaccine would essentially avoid all concerns surrounding sea lice and the associated treatments in farmed Atlantic salmon. Development of a vaccine against sea lice has posed many challenges due to the difficulties in locating, identifying and characterizing relevant parasitic antigens and demonstrating their immunogenicity. The ultimate goal of this research proposal is to determine the efficacy and duration of immunity of a recombinant subunit vaccine in reducing L. salmonis numbers on farm reared Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar).

Program Name

Aquaculture Collaborative Research and Development Program (ACRDP)


2005 - 2009


Pacific: Vancouver Island West Coast

Principal Investigator(s)

Henrik Kreiberg

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