Aquaculture is practiced to supplement the supply of the ocean s fish, which is not enough to serve the growing global population. While the supply of fish harvested from the oceans and seas through traditional fishing has remained at a constant level, aquaculture has been increasing around the world to catch up with the demand. As with any type of farming, aquaculture s viability and profitability depend on the volume and quality of the yield. This requires that the fish be free from illnesses, in order to avoid fish deaths that in turn will reduce harvest. Some factors that cause diseases are poor water quality, high density (overcrowding) and high water salinity.
There are available vaccines to prevent diseases, which are administered to the fish either by injection, immersion, or oral administration, each having its own advantages and limitations. The invention involves a process that yields an oral vaccine for fishes that provides both long-term immunization for the fish and ease of administration for the farmers. This is a platform technology, which can be further improved and applied to other species of domesticated livestock and land-based animals.
The invention makes use of a process that enhances and improves the effectiveness of the oral vaccine through the clay microencapsulation of the antigen. The vaccine is developed from bacteria that has been inactivated through irradiation. The clay acts as an oral controlled release system by protecting the antigen so that it remains intact when it reaches the fish s hind gut, where immunization takes place more effectively. The vaccine can be incorporated into fish pellets to make administration easier.
Compared to fish oral vaccines available in the market, this vaccine is more effective and has also proven its efficacy in its relevant environment with vaccinated fishes registering higher survivability rates due to the process of microencapsulation.
This technology will be particularly useful in the following sectors:
The global market for aquaculture was valued at USD 135.10 billion in 2012 and is expected to reach USD 195.13 billion in 2019, growing at a CAGR of 5.1% from 2013 to 2019. The global market for aquaculture is expected to reach USD 202.96 billion by 2020. [Source: Grand View Research, Inc.]
The global veterinary vaccines market is poised to reach $7,197.9 Million by 2020 from $5507.3 Million in 2015, at a CAGR of 5.5% from 2015 to 2020. [Source: Markets and Markets]
The technology provides an alternative way for vaccinating fishes by combining the advantages of injection and oral vaccines, while eliminating the disadvantages. This oral vaccine can be fed to fishes, making administration an easy task, thereby reducing labour and costs. Its effectiveness, however, is comparable to injections, which are the most effective and most widely-used in large aquaculture farms. Overall, this oral vaccine can provide its users with reduced operating costs brought about by vaccination, while generating higher yields and higher profits.