Indian Immunologicals Limited (IIL), a leading vaccine manufacturer, has announced a partnership with the Central Institute of Freshwater Aquaculture (CIFA) for the commercial development of a vaccine against Hemorrhagic Septicemia in freshwater fish. This infection, also known as Aeromonas Septicemia, Ulcer Disease, or Red-Sore Disease, is caused by the opportunistic pathogenic bacterium Aeromonas hydrophila and has been a significant economic problem in Indian aquaculture for decades.

Aquaculture plays a vital role in India’s economy, with the fisheries sector providing a livelihood for approximately 28 million people in the country. India is the world’s third-largest fish producer, with more than 65% of the country’s fish production coming from inland fisheries and aquaculture. However, disease is a major constraint to aquaculture globally, with an estimated 20% of all cultured aquatic animals being lost due to infectious diseases, resulting in around $10 billion in losses annually on a global scale.

IIL ventured into the aquaculture business in October 2022 by launching products for the aquaculture health market dealing with pond management and fish or shrimp gut management. The company subsequently announced the commercial development of fish vaccines with ICAR-CIFE. Dr. K Anand Kumar, Managing Director of IIL, stated that the company is working on multiple fronts to define pathways for the commercial development of fish vaccines in India. Dr. Priyabrata Pattnaik, Deputy Managing Director of IIL, added that the company is committed to developing vaccines for the fisheries sector with a long-term strategic objective of reducing the use of antibiotics and antimicrobial resistance in the environment, as part of the “One Health” initiative.