Auburn University researchers plan to use a recent grant from the United States Department of Agriculture to field-test a new vaccine. The new vaccine aims to control columnaris disease, a serious bacterial infection that can affect nearly all freshwater fish and causes millions of dollars in annual losses in the catfish industry alone.

Currently, the sole vaccine is only moderately effective. The new vaccine, currently in field testing, uses bacteria from a highly virulent strain of the disease to improve immunization for the aquaculture industry.

According to Auburn University’s Cova Arias, a professor in the School of Fisheries, Aquaculture and Aquatic Sciences, the new experimental vaccine has outperformed the vaccine now available on the market.

“At this point in our research, we need data on a larger scale to successfully commercialize the vaccine,” Arias said. “We will use this most recent grant to fill our gap in information.”

Learn more about the vaccine and the researchers’ next steps in the full article, available from the Opelika-Auburn News: http://www.oanow.com/news/auburnuniversity/auburn-developed-vaccine-could-help-prevent-costly-disease-among-catfish/article_0d858140-93d8-5b83-bfbd-d7ea29aaaec1.html