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SP Highlights Vaccination Benefits in SE Asia

HANOI- A series of key aquaculture events and presentations have confirmed Schering-Plough's increasing presence and support in South East Asia.

Aquaculture is continuing to develop at a pace in the region where the demand for Tilapia is especially strong. As producers look to establish long-term and sustainable operations, the focus on health management becomes vital. While the returns are attractive, endemic disease is a factor in Asia and Schering-Plough's strategy is to work across all the major stakeholder groups with education and technical awareness programmes.

The company has a longstanding relationship with The World Aquaculture Society (WAS) which hosted this autumn's key event, the WAS Asia - Pacific conference in Hanoi, Vietnam. The programme was very well attended and attracted a wide group of local and visiting delegates. Among the key speakers was Schering-Plough's leading immunology and fish vaccine expert, Professor Patrick Smith.

His paper summarised the global successes of fish vaccine programmes and the impact they are having in key areas of world aquaculture.

Disease reduction

Sighting firstly pathology, Professor Smith explained how the introduction of vaccine programmes had significantly reduced disease threat and burden across a wide spectrum of species. Disease prevention routines also brought welfare benefits, an issue of increasing global concern.

With respect to the environment, he confirmed the clear advantages of introducing vaccines to replace a number of chemical treatments and antimicrobial drugs that have historically been used to treat and control disease.

The link between vaccination and nutrition, was also discussed. Professor Smith explained that through improved health and well formulated diets, farmed fish now have the ability to grow more efficiently, achieving perfomance that was much nearer their genetic potential.

Professor Smith's key message was that attention to health and disease control would provide a range of significant commercial benefits to fish production enterprises. The advantages ranged from improved costs of production through to the capability to build and sustain fish farming operations with control and confidence.

In addition to exhibiting at the WAS conference, Schering-Plough also hosted a number of private customer consultation sessions that enabled producers to discuss their production and health programmes one-to-one with the company's technical and sales experts.

"We have had very good feedback on these sessions at previous events. The opportunity to understand the issues that are currently facing operations in the area allows us to develop a dialogue on suitable vaccination strategies," said Robin Wardle, SP Director of marketing and technical services.

"WAS at Hanoi was particularly successful in this respect and we have made firm commitments to follow up with specific visits to assist in establishing the most effective vaccination programmes to suit individual operations," he added.

Strep protection plus

Vaccination for Streptococcosis in Tilapia is one specific area where prevention programmes are delivering significant protection around the world. Schering-Plough Regional Technical Manager, Aries Madethen presented a technical paper on recent trials using the company's AquaVac Garvetil and AquaVac Garvetil Oral vaccines. Conducted in Latin America and Asia, the research is part of the company's Total Protection Strategy, a tailored programme to prevent disease through appropriate vaccination.

The trials demonstrate that AquaVac Garvetil, and AquaVac Garvetil Oral vaccines are safe and highly effective for use in Tilapia. They also demonstrated many significant improvements in survival when the fish were exposed to a natural challenge. Added benefits of increased feed efficiency and quality of production were also identified.

"Our commitment is to continue to develop relationships with producers in South East Asia. And, in addition to supplying vaccines we look to build and support long-term health programmes to help take their businesses forward," said Robin Wardle.

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