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Dr. Patricia Gaunt, D.V.M., Ph.D., DACVT – Veterinary Toxicologist
Dr. Lester Khoo, D.V.M., Ph.D. – Professor and Director

Support Personnel:
Cyndi Ware – Research Associate II
James Steadman – Research Associate III
Rodgers Polk – Research Technician
Larry Mcntyre – Research Associate II
Dana Gao – Research Associate III
Cheryl Bonnette – Administrative Assistant

Disease related losses are a major impediment to the overall success and economic well being of the commercial catfish industry. The Aquatic Diagnostic Laboratory is dedicated to the success of the industry through service, teaching, and research. Our staff and fish health professionals strive to support the industry’s efforts to produce a high quality, economical, and profitable product by providing solutions to its most serious problems through basic and applied research, extension, and diagnostic services. The Laboratory processes over 1200 cases annually, providing a variety services including gross necropsy, histopathology, bacteriology, virology, parasitology, and water quality evaluation. The Laboratory also offers student preceptors, interns, and graduate students a unique opportunity for advanced training in fish disease diagnostics and research.

Specific objectives of the fish health program are to:

1) provide disease diagnostics,
document disease trends and provide surveillance for new and emerging diseases,
3) provide water quality testing and assessment,
4) establish early detection methodologies and monitoring programs,
identify environmental and management factors that influence the onset and severity of disease,
6) evaluate treatment strategies,
establish best management practices to prevent and manage disease outbreaks,
8) develop disease challenge models,
9) provide an outlet for the dissemination information to producers, and
10) identify areas requiring a more basic than applied research emphasis.

Recent and current areas of research include:

1) approval of the antibiotic florfenicol by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for use in catfish,
2) identification, characterization, and evaluation of mechanisms of control for Bolbophorus-like trematodes,
3) investigation into the cause of visceral toxicosis of catfish (VTC) and isolation of the toxin responsible.

The addition of Dr. Michael Mauel to our professional staff opens a new dimension of research opportunities in the areas of molecular and serologic diagnostics and disease pathogenesis.

Annual Case Summary Reports

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