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Vaccines for the IMN and Whitespot Viruses
These Vaccines Could Save the Shrimp Farming Industry a Billion Dollars a Year and Lead to Another Big Jump in the Production of Farmed Shrimp
Dr. Hank Harris—a professor in Animal Science and Veterinary Diagnostics and Production Animal Medicine at Iowa State University—has been developing swine vaccines for the last 30 years. He recently developed a vaccine to prevent pigs from getting the novel H1N1 virus, using a RNA Platform delivery system. In 2000, he started working on shrimp vaccines and has now signed an international development, distribution and marketing agreement with one of Asia’s largest shrimp farming ventures for collaborative research on vaccines for the whitespot syndrome virus (WSSV) and the infectious myonecrosis virus (IMNV). The vaccines have already been developed. The challenge? How to get them into shrimp.
Harris said, “Consider that a typical shrimp production pond is stocked with 500,000 postlarvae about the size of mosquitoes. It’s kind of tough for the farmer to inject each animal. Right now, we’re looking at delivering the vaccine orally in the feed through a pellet they would eat, or immersing the postlarvae in [the vaccine] in the water. With the help of the new agreement, Harris thinks he will have figured out a delivery method and will have an economically viable vaccine for use in commercial production within six months to a year!
Joel Harris, Hank’s son and chief marketing officer at Harrisvaccines, the Ames, Iowa, company that is helping to develop the vaccine, said, “Because they are invertebrates, they have a completely different immune system from swine and all other vertebrate livestock. Invertebrates, like shrimp, are generally believed to be incapable of acquiring immunity, but we have discovered strategies to induce a similar effect in shrimp.”
For the production of swine vaccines, Harrisvaccines used RNA Platform technology, which can be applied to a variety of diseases across multiple species, to speed up the vaccine production process. Recently, this new, faster method of producing vaccines was put to use during the 2009 outbreak of the novel swine influenza virus. The company’s platform technology allowed it to have vaccines ready two months after the outbreak. Hank Harris said, “What’s really neat about this technology? You don’t really need the live virus. We just need the genes from the original virus, which can be made synthetically.” Animations and further descriptions of the RNA Platform technology can be found on the company’s website at: http://www.harrisvaccines.com.
While checking some of the facts for this story, I chatted with Hank and Joel on the phone and asked them a couple of questions:
Shrimp News: Although you are developing the vaccines for a single company, do you eventually plan to make them available to shrimp farmers around the world.
Hank Harris: Yes, that’s our plan, but first we have to take care of our partner.
Shrimp News: Do you plan to expand your research to any other shrimp viruses? For example, the Taura virus?
Hank Harris: We have a lot of work to do before we conquer the whitespot and IMN viruses, so we’re going to concentrate on them for now.
Shrimp News: At what stage of production do you anticipate conducting the immunization?
Joel Harris: Most likely it will be in the hatchery, or in raceways during the nursery phase.
Sources: 1. Media Newswire. Iowa State University-based Research Leads to Jumbo Shrimp Agreement. January 19, 2011. 2. Iowa State University. News Service. Dan Kuester (phone 1-515-294-0704, email email@example.com). Iowa State University Researcher Is Ready to Produce Vaccine for N1H1 Flu Virus in Swine. May 6, 2009. 3. Joel and Hank Harris. Telephone interview by Bob Rosenberry, Shrimp News International, February 1, 2011.
Selective Breeding of Penaeus vannamei for Whitespot Resistance
Abstract: After three generations of selective breeding for whitespot virus resistance, 29 families of Penaeus vannamei were divided into three groups: high, moderate and low resistance. After infection with whitespot, the average survivals for the groups were 22.7, 9.08 and 0.78 percent, respectively. The peak in mortality in the high-resistance group occurred two to three days after the peaks in the low-resistance group and controls.
Source: Aquaculture. Characterization of WSSV Resistance in Selected Families of Litopenaeus vannamei. Yong-Chun Huang, Zhi-Xin Yin, Hua-Shu Ai, Xian-De Huang, Se-Dong Li, Shao-Ping Weng and Jian-Guo He (firstname.lastname@example.org, State Key Laboratory for Biocontrol, School of Life Sciences, Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou 510275, PR China). Volume 311, Issues 1-4, Pages 54–60, February 2011.
Store NHPB in Your Freezer
Abstract: Necrotizing hepatopancreatitis bacterium (NHPB) is a major disease of farmed shrimp. There are currently no techniques available to recover and isolate it from cell lines or artificial culture medium. The aim of this study was to develop a method for collecting and storing NHP-infected tissue without an über freezing processes. The researchers collected and froze NHPB-infected hepatopancreas tissue at -20°C, using glycerol as a cryoprotectant. They tested the viability of the NHPB extracts, stored for 14 months, by infecting healthy shrimp. Shrimp feces was analyzed by PCR and scanning electron microscopy to monitor the progress of the infection. A forced-feeding infection procedure was developed to transmit the disease. This type of infection method should allow for greater homogeneity and reproducibility in experimental procedures involving transmission of NHPB to Penaeus (Litopenaeus) vannamei shrimp. The forced-feeding procedure provided more efficient transmission than other previously reported methods.
The researchers concluded: “Our findings indicate that in vivo continuous propagation is not required to have a source of viable NHPB. Our approach provides an easier, more economically advantageous and more feasible method for experimental infection for NHPB studies.”
Source: Aquaculture. Assessing the Viability of Necrotizing Hepatopancreatitis Bacterium (NHPB) Stored at −20°C for Use in Forced-Feeding Infection of Penaeus (Litopenaeus) Vannamei. Martina Hilda Gracia-Valenzuela, Luz Angelica Ávila-Villa, Gloria Yepiz-Plascencia, Jorge Hernández-López, Fernando Mendoza-Cano, Guillermina García-Sanchez and Teresa Gollas-Galván (email@example.com, Centro de Investigación en Alimentación y Desarrollo, A.C. P.O. Box 1735, Hermosillo, Sonora, 83000, México). Article in Press.
International Conference on Shrimp Farming
The X Simposio Internacional de Camarón de Cultivo y Exhibición Comercial, Panamá Camarón 2011, will be held at the Continental Hotel in Panama City on May 11-13, 2011.
Depending on when you register, the fee ranges from $300 to $390. You can register at http://www.camaron/grupoenlaze.com.
Accommodations range from $95 to $165 a night.
Special Sessions: Dr. Donald Lightner on the IMN Virus ($150) and Dr. Daryll Jory on Recirculating Systems ($75).
Donald Lightner, USA
Mathew Briggs, Thailand
Roger Doyle, USA
Thalis Andrade, Brazil
Albert Tacon, USA
Neil Gervais, Guatemala
Martin Caballero, Panama
Nicolas Rodriguez, Panama
Luis Medina, Venezuela
Peter Coutteau, Belgium
Luz M. Arevalo, Panama
Eugenio Garcia-Franco, Venezuela
Jean Pierre Golfings, France
Darryl Jory, USA
Alvaro Polo, Colombia
Nimiadina Herrera, Panama
Cesar Alceste, USA
Daniel Benedetti, USA
Information: Eusebio A. Morales, PH Gloria Apto 1, El Cangrejo, Ciudad de Panamá, República de Panamá (phone 507-265-7124, fax 507-214-8752, email firstname.lastname@example.org, webpage www.grupoenlaze.com).
Source: Email and attachments from Panama Camaron 2011. Subject: X Simposio Internacional de Camarón de Cultivo y Exhibición Comercial, Panamá Camarón 2011. From: Panama Camaron 2011 (email@example.com). January 18, 2011.
Fish Meal and Fish Oil Production Down
In October 2010, 58,500 tons of anchovies were landed for the meal and oil industry, a 29 percent drop from the same month in 2009 when landings totaled 82,300 tons. [Editor: La Niña conditions disperse the anchovies, making them more difficult to find and catch.]
Source: FIS United States. Landings for Fishmeal Industry Continue to Decline. Analia Murias (firstname.lastname@example.org). January 21, 2011.
Delaware—DuPont’s Patent on a Diagnostic Procedure for Vibrio harveyi
A new quick and inexpensive diagnostic test developed by DuPont Qualicon and refined by the University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences is based on a technology called “quantitative polymerase chain reaction,” or QPCR diagnostics. Given a small sample of shrimp tissue, the system tracks genetic material found in three harmful species of Vibrio by amplifying their DNA into large amounts that are easily detected.
DuPont’s 18-page patent on this process explains how polymerase chain reaction (PCR) is used to quickly and inexpensively detect Vibrios in shrimp tissue. Here are some excerpts from the patent:
“Disclosed herein are primers useful in assays for the detection of Vibrio harveyi. The primers may be used in nucleic acid amplification methods as well as in hybridization assays for the efficient detection and quantification of virulent Vibrio harveyi.”
“In PCR methods the Vibrio harveyi diagnostic primer sequences disclosed herein are used as a pair which is capable of priming a nucleic acid amplification reaction that amplifies a region within the Vibrio harveyi genome.”
“Primers have been isolated that are diagnostic for the detection of Vibrio harveyi. The primers are based on a portion of the Vibrio harveyi LuxR gene and may be used in primer directed amplification or nucleic acid hybridization assay methods.”
“In one embodiment, the present invention provides an isolated Vibrio harveyi diagnostic primer sequence.”
“In another embodiment, the invention provides a kit for the detection of Vibrio harveyi comprising a pair of Vibrio harveyi diagnostic primer sequences disclosed herein.”
Information: E.I. Du Pont De Nemours and Company, Legal Patent Records Center, Barley Mill Plaza 25/1122b, 4417 Lancaster Pike, Wilmington, Delaware 19805, USA.
Source: United States Patent Application Publication. Sequences Diagnostic for Shrimp Pathogens. Inventors, Richard C. Ebersole, Jianzhong Zhang, Mario W. Chen and Christian Peter Lenges (Assignee, E.I. du Pont De Nemours and Company). Application Number 12/707,762. Publication Number US 2010/0167303 A1. Filing date February 18, 2010.
Florida—Don Sweat Wins Award. Who is Don Sweat?
Don Sweat picked the site for one of the largest, longest running shrimp farms in the Western Hemisphere! He retired two years ago, but last month he was honored by his Sea Grant colleagues around the country with the William Q. Wick Visionary Career Leadership Award for his achievements. Born in Jacksonville, Florida, he earned an undergraduate degree from the University of Florida and a graduate degree from Stetson University before becoming a pioneer in Florida’s fledgling aquaculture industry.
Sweat said the following about his short career in shrimp farming: “I moved to Key West and started working with shrimp . I set up some ponds on Summerland Key , but decided that we would need more land.”
So he took off for Central and South America [late 1971 through mid-1972].
“I would start off by looking at maps,” he said. “If I saw something I liked, I would fly over it in a small airplane. Then, if it still looked good, I would rent a four-wheel drive and head out there myself so I could take in the tastes and smells.”
Sweat found the ideal spot for a 2,500-acre shrimp farm on the Gulf of Fonseca in Honduras. “The farm [Sea Farms International] is still there producing 6 million pounds of shrimp a year,” he said. “They are all millionaires, but I moved back to the states so I could raise a family .”
[Editor: the dates in brackets were added on February 16, 2011.]
Sources: 1. St. Petersburg Times/TampaBay.com. Retired Florida Sea Grant Marine Extension Agent Don Sweat Honored with Leadership Award. Terry Tomalin. January 21, 2011. 2. Email from Don Sweat to Shrimp News International on February 9, 2011. 3. Bob Rosenberry, Shrimp News International, February 16, 2011.
Louisiana—WAS Shrimp Farming Program
Hi, I’ve posted the preliminary program for the shrimp farming sessions at the World Aquaculture Society Meeting in New Orleans, Louisiana, USA (February 28 to March 3, 2011) to the Background Information Page of this site.You can check it out at http://www.shrimpnews.com/FreeReportsFolder/WASNewOrleansMarch2011.html.
Source: Bob Rosenberry, Shrimp News International, February 3, 2011.
Maryland—Crabs, The Soft Shell Shedding Syndrome Virus (SSSSV)
With soft crabs selling for roughly five times the price of hard crabs, any reduction in losses would help the shedding businesses boost profits and reduce its need for wild stocks.
After launching Coveside Crabs five years ago, Lee Carrion and her partner realized their seafood business had a serious problem. Up to half of the blue crabs (Callinectes sapidus) they were holding in their dockside shedding tanks for the soft crab market died before they could be sold.
A search for a solution led Carrion to the University of Maryland’s Institute of Marine and Environmental Technology, where she helped researchers find a virus in Chesapeake Bay blue crabs that may routinely kill a quarter or more of all the soft crabs taken from Chesapeake Bay! They hope the discovery will lead to a way to spot and screen out infected animals, making the soft crab businesses more profitable while easing harvest pressure on the wild populations.
The findings go a long way toward explaining the significant die-off seen in soft crab shedding operations, said Eric J. Schott, a research assistant professor with UM’s Center for Environmental Science at the Inner Harbor Institute. Until now, most soft crab operations had written off the crabs’ demise to poor water quality or to the stress and injuries they get during capture, handling and captivity.
Schott, who specializes in aquatic viruses, set out to look for the hidden killer in soft crab shedding operations. He first extracted nucleic acid from obviously sick crabs to see if he could see any double-stranded RNA, the genetic material typical of viruses. He spotted a virus and found the same one in more than half the dead and dying soft crabs he examined, but it showed up in less than five percent of the healthy crabs.
As a further test of the virus’ potency, he infected healthy crabs, and they all became ill and died.
Schott said the virus doesn’t appear to be that prevalent in the wild. He found it in less than four percent of more than 200 crabs sampled from around the bay. But in the close quarters of a soft-crab shedding operation, it appeared to spread readily and take a significant toll.
“Typically, during harvest, crabs become injured with nicks and scratches,” Schott said. Normally, that’s not a big deal, since crabs’ hemolymph, or circulating fluid, clots just as human blood does. But crabs with the virus lose their clotting ability. And while the virus itself may not kill all the crabs, it likely paves the way. The virus affects the animals’ immune system, so they can’t defend themselves from other germs or viruses.
Source: Seafood.com (an online, subscription-based, fisheries news service). Editor and Publisher, John Sackton (phone 1-781-861-1441, email email@example.com). Virus May Explain Costly Blue Crab ‘Shedder’ Mortality. Ken Coons (firstname.lastname@example.org). January 24, 2011.
Nevada—Ganix Biotechnologies Starting Up in North Las Vegas
On January 18, 2011, Ganix BioTechnologies, Inc., which plans to farm shrimp in North Las Vegas, Nevada, received a $128,397 tax-and-training grant from the Nevada Commission on Economic Development.
“It’s hard for some people to grasp, but we will be raising shrimp in the middle of the desert,” said Scott McManus, CEO of Ganix. McManus said that while the company will have tanks with hundreds of thousands of gallons of water, the shrimp-farming process will use less water than the average household once the facility is up and running. McManus said Ganix has a research and development facility in Newburg, North Dakota, and has developed a process that is sustainable, organic, uses no chemicals or growth hormones and produces shrimp of varying sizes that taste like lobster. The shrimp will be grown indoors in a recirculating system.
Ganix will hire 25 employees, most of them tech and lab workers and animal husbandry experts, who will undergo five weeks of training to run the farm. The company will also provide 50 jobs during the construction of its facility.
McManus thinks he could set up a similar shrimp farm in Reno once the North Las Vegas operation is running. He plans to market his first crop in southern Las Vegas and then begin marketing in California, Arizona, Utah and portions of Colorado.
Ganix qualified for the tax and training grant by offering average wages of $21 an hour, 6 percent over the statutory requirement, and it will invest $1.3 million in the development of the farm, 31 percent more than the requirement. Ganix will have its sales tax reduced to two percent for a year (a savings of $79,654) and its business tax modified by 50 percent for four years (a savings of $20,743). The company also qualified for $28,000 in training grants for 14 employees.
A year and a half ago, in her first speech as mayor, Shari Buck pledged to help recession-weary businesses in North Las Vegas. She said the opening of Ganix Bio-Technologies’ shrimp farm was a prime example of how her city is growing businesses. She said, “The Ganix shrimp farm is a water-efficient operation on two acres in the Kapex Annexation Area.”
Frank DeLuca, owner of Ganix BioTechnologies, credited Buck with helping attract his farm to her city. He said the city was “incredibly helpful in the building permits and committed to leading us through the process,” adding that more phases and jobs were planned.
Sources: 1. Las Vegas Sun. New Company to Raise Shrimp in Middle of Desert. Richard N. Velotta. January 19, 2011. 2. Las Vegas Business Press. North Las Vegas Mayor Touts City’s Progress. Valerie Miller (email email@example.com, phone 1-702-387-5286). January 24, 2011.
Pennsylvania—Zeigler Bros., Inc., Celebrates 75 Years in Business
Zeigler Bros., a supplier of a wide range of aquaculture feeds, including shrimp growout feeds and shrimp hatchery feeds, has been in business for 75 year and wants to share this accomplishment with all of its employees, customers and vendors.
A Zeigler news release said, “As we enter a new decade, Zeigler Bros., Inc., is taking a moment to reflect on its 75 years as a family owned and operated business. From humble beginnings in a water powered grist mill along the Conewago stream in rural Pennsylvania, the company has grown and evolved into a research and development driven company with clients in more than 50 countries.”
Dr. Tom Zeigler and his sons Matt and Tim now represent the third generation of family management.
Source: Email from Chris Stock at Zeigler Bros. to Shrimp News International. Subject: Zeigler Press Release—75 Years. January 19, 2011.
New York—Wanted Parasitized, Unformalinized Penaeid Shrimp
This item from CRUST-L, a mailing list for crustacean scientists that’s similar in operation to the Shrimp List.
“If anyone happens to have samples of penaeid shrimp parasitized by bopyrid isopods (and in EtOH, any percentage), I would be very interested in obtaining a sample or two. It appears most of these have been ‘formalinized’ in collections, so fresh material is urgently needed.”
Information: Christopher B. Boyko, Division of Invertebrate Zoology, American Museum of Natural History, Central Park West at 79th Street, New York, New York 10024, USA (fax 1-212-769-5277).
Source: Crust-L, an email-based mailing list for crustacean scientists (To subscribe, send an email to LISTPROC@VIMS.EDU. In the body of the email, put SUBSCRIBE CRUST-L). [Crust-L:5230] Bopyrids from Penaeids. From: Christopher B. Boyko (firstname.lastname@example.org). January 21, 2011.
Texas—Statistics on the Production of Farmed Shrimp in the USA
Granvil Treece, an aquaculture extension agent at Texas A&M University, forwarded the following information on shrimp farming in the United States.
Information: Granvil Treece, Aquaculture Specialist, Texas A&M University, Sea Grant College Program, 2700 Earl Rudder Freeway South, Suite 1800, College Station, Texas 77845, USA (phone 1-979-845-7527, fax 1-979-845-7525, email email@example.com, website http://texas-sea-grant.tamu.edu).
Source: Email from Granvil Treece to Shrimp News International on January 19, 2011.
Minh Phu Seafood Corp
Le Van Diep, Deputy General Director of Minh Phu Seafood Corp., an integrated shrimp farming operation, said, in 2010, the company shipped nearly 23,200 tons of shrimp, valued at $247.6 million, an increase of 44% in volume and 56% in value over the same period in 2009.
In 2010, the USA was Minh Phu’s biggest shrimp customer, importing 8,500 metric tons, worth $107.8 million. Japan was its second biggest customer, importing 3,400 tons, valued at 36.5 million—followed by the European Union, South Korea, and Canada.
Source: Vietfish International. Minh Phu Seafood Corp: Establish a Shrimp Farming Company in Ba Ria. Vung Tau. January 22, 2011.
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