On 27 April, Dr JK Jena, deputy director general (fisheries) at ICAR, launched CIBA-Nodavac-R, in a bid to combat VNN, which affects many marine, brackishwater and freshwater fish, causing up to 100 percent mortality in larval and early juvenile stages. The disease is caused by nervous necrosis virus (NNV). Red-spotted grouper nervous necrosis virus (RGNNV) is the only genotype prevalent in India and most other tropical countries. The disease is transmitted both vertically and horizontally. Infected adults remain as carriers and transmit the virus to offspring through eggs. The practical way to control the disease and prevent vertical transmission is to vaccinate fingerlings and adult fish.

CIBA-Nodavac-R is an injectable recombinant VNN vaccine which can effectively prevent VNN caused by RGNNV in fingerlings and prevent vertical transmission in brooders. ICAR say that it “is safe and efficacious” and it was developed under the consortium research platform on vaccines and diagnostics. The vaccine can be used in all species susceptible to VNN, including milkfish, grey mullet and mangrove red snapper.

At the event Dr Jena congratulated CIBA and the team for developing the vaccine. Dr KK Vijayan, director of ICAR-CIBA, explained the impact of VNN on brackishwater aquaculture and the importance of the vaccine in controlling the disease. He added that the vaccine will help to prevent VNN in fish hatcheries and bring down the incidence of VNN in grow-out farms.

Dr M Makesh, principal investigator of the project, explained the details of the vaccine development and its applications.

According to ICAR-CIBA, an oral vaccine for delivery through feed and an immersion vaccine are also under development.

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