Field trials of a novel vaccine to combat Rainbow Trout Fry Syndrome (RTFS) in Scotland
Project life: 17 months
The bacterium Flavobacterium psychrophilum has been responsible for substantial economic losses in the rainbow trout industry globally, including the UK, for decades. It is widespread, occurs frequently, and can cause high mortality in fry and larger fish in freshwater hatcheries and on-growing sites. The impact of RTFS can be seen in terms of economic cost and in terms of risk. Currently the only course of action is antibiotic treatment, which has led to increased levels of antibiotic resistance, highlighting the urgent need for prophylactic treatments for RTFS. This project runs field trials for a recently developed vaccine in trout fry.
- DawnFresh Ltd
- University of Stirling
- Tethys Aquaculture Ltd
- Kames Fish Farming Ltd
Rainbow Trout Fry Syndrome (RTFS) is caused by the Gram-negative bacterium Flavobacterium psychrophilum. Disease episodes tend to occur between 10-14°C with necrotic lesions often seen on the skin surrounding the dorsal fin and tail, while in very small fish no clinical signs are apparent and death occurs due to septicaemia. The only course of action is antibiotic treatment, which has led to increased levels of antibiotic resistance, highlighting the urgent need for prophylactic treatments for RTFS. The University of Stirling has now developed an RTFS vaccine. An application has been submitted to the VMD for an Animal Test Certificate to test this vaccine in a field setting.