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Combating Flavobacterium Through Mapping

07 January 2013, at 12:00am

EUROPE - Flavobacterium are creating major losses in aquaculture worldwide. Some varieties are more dangerous than others. Scientists are now mapping the potential for disease and infection. The goal is to develop effective vaccines, rapid diagnosis and better control.

Flavobacterium, found in both freshwater and saltwater, causes major problems for the aquaculture industry.

Flavobacterium psychrophilum, known as one of the most costly infections for rainbow trout in freshwater, can also cause disease in rainbow trout in brackish water. Norway had big losses in 2008. In recent years, the disease appeared sporadically, but still constitute a potential threat.

A European-based joint venture, 'Control of Flavobacterium Infections in European fish farms', aims to provide farming tools for better control and fighting infections.

The partners come from France, Finland, Denmark, Switzerland, Italy and Norway. The goal is to determine how many different varieties of bacteria are found and see what different characteristics are seen.

"The knowledge we generate is the basis for the selection of vaccine candidates and to develop new diagnostic tools that will make it easier to detect and to combat the disease at an earlier stage, eg by examining the environmental and carrier status of the fish and also develop effective vaccines," says Hanne Nilsen, a researcher at the National Veterinary Institute.

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The Health and Welfare of Atlantic Salmon.

It is vital that fish farm operatives who are responsible for farmed fish are trained in their health and welfare. This will help to ensure that fish are free from disease and suffering whilst at the same time promote good productivity and comply with legislation.

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