Salmon farming centre. (Photo: Sernapesca)
New technology to prevent and control disease in salmon
Monday, April 20, 2015, 21:50 (GMT + 9)
A team of researchers from the University of Valparaíso (UV) succeeded in developing innovative technology to prevent and control major diseases affecting farmed salmon in Chile.
After eight years of research, development and technology transfer, scientists were able to obtain a product from marine bacteria that is native to the coast of the Valparaíso Region that could help reduce the use of antibiotics in the salmon industry.
"This solution is harmless to animals and human beings and inhibits communication of pathogens," explains Dr. Alejandro Dinamarca, team leader.
And he adds: "Unlike antibiotics this strategy is innovative because it does not generate resistance and does not harm the environment Thus, productivity and product added value increases, and provides food security."
This new biotechnology was recently patented in Chile, and UV is now conducting the procedure to obtain its production and commercial exploitation permit, Estrategia reported.
Dr. Dinamarca also highlights the ability of this technology to effectively be incorporated into fish feed manufacturing processes without the need to modify them.
"This food additive developed in the UV's Laboratory of Microbial Biotechnology of the Faculty of Pharmacy, unlike antibiotics commonly used, in addition to not generating resistance, is non-toxic to farmed fish and does not harm the environment, which are its main advantages over the use of antibiotics," he points out.
The Report on antimicrobial use in national salmon farming 2013 prepared by the National Fisheries and Aquaculture Service (SERNAPESCA) revealed an upward trend in recent years of the antibiotic use in national salmon industry.
Based on the official data, it is estimated that Chilean producers yearly use antibiotics about 400 times more than in Norway, a situation that would limit exports of Chilean products to the United States and the European Union (EU).
In addition, a study carried out by the World Health Organization (WHO) warned about the increasing resistance of certain bacteria to antibiotics used in human beings.
Therefore, the use of the same antibiotics in aquaculture as those used in human health poses a risk and a food safety issue.
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