Micro-encapsulation and Nanotechnology Treatments to Prevent Proteolytic Diseases of Aquatic Animals
Although aquaculture is the world's fastest-growing animal food production system, diseases remain a major impediment to the development and expansion of environmentally safe and sustainable aquaculture in the United States. Pathogenic fungal and bacterial infections of eggs, skin, and gills continue to kill millions of fish every year. At this time, there are no vaccines available to prevent fungal infections and only a limited number of commercial vaccines against bacterial diseases. Traditional antifungal chemical treatments have potentially serious human health and/or aquatic ecosystem impacts, as well as regulatory constraints. This project investigates the feasibility of addressing these problems through a two-pronged synergistic approach. One component would treat or protect the host animal directly using naturally-occurring materials, while the second component would use nanoparticle-based treatments that would inactivate harmful processes unique to fungal and bacterial pathogens. A variety of effective disease treatments could emerge from this work that involve only one or both of these components. For example, a prototype product will be evaluated that will incorporate both components into one protective system. This product could be mixed with live fish eggs in egg-hatching containers in both public and private sector aquaculture facilities. If successful, our new nanoparticle platform technology will significantly enhance the competitiveness and sustainability of American agriculture in rural areas that produce farmed fish or shrimp by reducing the losses caused by infectious diseases without harming the environment or sensitive organisms in the receiving water.
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17806 NE 26TH ST Redmond, WA 98052
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