Rapid Immunoassay for the Detection of the Bacterium Producing Necrotizing Hepatopancreatitis in Cultured Penaeid Shrimp
Aquaculture of shrimp is a multi-billion dollar business worldwide. Infection of shrimp grown by aquaculture with the organism leading to Necrotizing HepatoPancreatitis (NHP) is frequently encountered in North, Central and South America and can lead to devastating economic consequences if not detected early. Current methods for testing require shipping samples to centralized laboratories to perform PCR or histology that is time consuming, expensive and requiring specialized equipment. Rapid testing with a low cost immunoassay device would enable early detection by farmers at the site of aquaculture by permitting monitoring of brood stock as well as cultured shrimp. This could lead to a more rapid response for controlling the infection by allowing intervention before the population becomes lethargic and anorexic and less susceptible to treatment. Such a low cost test would also have applications in monitoring the passage of the infection between wild and cultured shrimp. This Phase II SBIR will focus on completing the development and field evaluation of a cost effective prototype rapid assay for NHP bacterial detection. These studies will be done in close collaboration with expert researchers at the University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ and their collaborators at shrimp farms in Central and South America. In addition, we have also established a collaboration with Dr Jeff Lotz, Department of Coastal Sciences, University of Southern Mississippi to provide samples from his shrimp infection model system and Dr Stephen Newman, Aqua-in Tech Inc has agreed to assist in marketing efforts and additional site identification for field trials.
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