Indian Immunologicals Limited (IIL), a leading vaccine manufacturer, has partnered with the Central Institute of Freshwater Aquaculture (CIFA) for the commercial development of a vaccine against Hemorrhagic Septicemia in freshwater fish. This infection is caused by the opportunistic pathogenic bacterium Aeromonas hydrophila and is a significant economic problem in Indian aquaculture. All of the cultured freshwater fish species in India are susceptible to this disease.
India’s aquaculture sector plays a vital role in the country’s economy, with the fisheries sector providing a livelihood for approximately 28 million people. India is the world’s third-largest fish producer, with more than 65% of the country’s fish produced through Inland Fisheries and Aquaculture. However, disease is the main constraint to aquaculture globally, with an estimated 20% of all cultured aquatic animals lost due to infectious diseases, resulting in around 10 billion USD in losses annually on a global scale.
IIL ventured into the aqua business in October 2022 by launching products for the aquaculture health market, dealing with pond management and fish or shrimp gut management, and subsequently announced the commercial development of fish vaccines with ICAR-CIFE. Vaccination is the most promising and environmentally safe concept for controlling diseases, especially in light of the development of antibiotic-resistant bacterial pathogens. Dr K Anand Kumar, Managing Director of Indian Immunologicals Limited, stated, “We are working on multiple fronts in defining pathways for commercial development of fish vaccines in India,” highlighting the company’s commitment to developing vaccines for the fisheries sector as part of the “One Health” initiative.