SBIR Phase II: Use of Inducible Antimicrobial Peptides for Rapid Diagnosis, Prevention, and Management of Disease in Finfish Aquaculture
This Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR)Phase II Project proposes to develop a new approach for controlling disease in the aquaculture industry. This approach is based on the use of a recently discovered natural antibiotic compound in hybrid striped bass (HSB) called bass-hepcidin. Hepcidin is an antimicrobial peptide (i.e. bactericidal molecules) that is part of the fish's innate immune system. Prior Phase I work has demonstrated that HSB (and probably many finfish) respond to disease challenges by increasing their hepcidin levels. This finding is useful because elevated hepcidin levels indicate that fish are being challenged by disease, and artificially increasing hepcidin levels (by feed additives or other means) may stimulate the fish's immune response to assist in combating disease. This Phase II project will develop an ELISA diagnostic test for hepcidin and conduct follow-on clinical studies with several important aquaculture species. If successful, this research may result in the development of two types of hepcidin-based products that will be of immense value to aquaculturists: 1) hepcidin test strips that provide an instant positive-negative indication of the presence of disease processes, analogous to pregnancy test kits, and 2) feed additives that stimulate the production of hepcidin in finfish, to be used to control disease outbreaks.
The commercial impact of this project will be significant as there is clearly a market need for products to control infectious diseases in fish that cause tremendous economic loss, of the order of $ 3 billion, each year.
Small Business Information at Submission:
Kent SeaTech Corporation
11125 Flintkoe Avenue Suite J San Diego, CA 92121
Number of Employees: