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APPLIED FISH HEALTH


Scientists:

Lester Khoo
Patricia Gaunt
Terry Greenway
Matt Griffin
David Wise


Support Personnel:

Todd Byars, Research Associate III
Monroe Walker, Fishery Technician
Rodney Morris, Fishery Technician
Josh Walker, Research Associate I
Rodgers Polk, Research Technician I
James Steadman, Research Assistant III
Cyndi Ware, Research Assistant II
Larry McIntyre, Research Associate II

The applied fish health program focuses on the development of comprehensive, integrated fish-health management strategies to reduce the impact of diseases on catfish production efficiency. Since the inception of commercial catfish farming more than 40 years ago, disease related losses have represented a major impediment to the profitability of the industry. In the last decade, infectious diseases have escalated as culture practices have become more intensive and previously rare diseases have been amplified within the relatively closed population of cultured fish. It is estimated that disease-related losses account for approximately 40% to 50% of all losses incurred on farms and may account for as much as $100 million annually in direct economic losses.

The program is multidisciplinary and addresses industry needs through application of basic, applied, and clinical research. Research addresses the following broad subject areas: development of risk assessment models; development of best production practices to control infectious and non-infectious diseases; development of diagnostic tools to detect and monitor specific pathogens in fish and the environment; establishing the epidemiology of specific bacterial, viral, parasitic and fungal diseases; development and use of vaccines and chemical and biological treatments for the control and prevention of disease; and determination of environmental and biological factors which impact fish health through basic and applied research. All project areas are developed through collaborative discussions with user groups.


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