SBIR Phase II: Molecular diagnostics and biological control of disease in farmed channel catfish
National Science Foundation
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Small Business Information
2120 W GREENVIEW DR STE 9, MIDDLETON, WI, 53562-2254
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged:
AbstractThis Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase II project is aimed at developing an effective, inexpensive, safe means of controlling diseases in farm-raised catfish. One of the biggest problems in farm-raised catfish is disease that occurs in commercial ponds. Scientists at Auburn University discovered strains of natural bacteria that can be applied to fish feed to control the most common diseases. Lucigen is developing rapid, simple tests capable of detecting these diseases before the fish get sick. The goal is to combine these ideas to develop commercial products to rapidly diagnose and treat the most common catfish diseases. The broader impacts of this research are 1) the preservation of an important industry in economically disadvantaged regions of the rural southeastern US and 2) protection of an increasingly important food source. Since yields of most wild-caught fish are declining, farmed fish are becoming an important food source and an important industry throughout the world. Fish diseases in aquaculture ponds cause losses of up to half the fish before harvest, costing billions of dollars worldwide, and there is no satisfactory means of controlling most of these outbreaks. Antibiotics, vaccines, chemicals or controlled feeding are all prohibitively expensive, harmful to human and environmental health and/or bad for yields. The detection and control of catfish diseases, the immediate focus of this project, addresses the $20-30M in annual losses caused by disease. Longer term, similar biological control systems should be applicable to other fish species in the US and the rest of the world.
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