ICAR-CIBA signed a Memorandum of Understanding with M/s Salem Microbes Private Limited for the production and market of a phage-based product developed by the Aquatic Animal Health and Environment Division (AAHED) of CIBA for the biocontrol of bacterial diseases in shrimp hatchery settings.
Bacteriophages, also called phages, are viruses that infect and kill only specific disease-causing bacteria and are an alternative to antibiotics as therapeutic agents in controlling bacterial infections. Bacteriophages and their lytic enzymes have been used for therapy of bacterial infections in humans and animals, as biocontrol agents for food protection, diagnostics and also as tools in molecular biology. Bacteriophage therapy has the advantages of being specific to their host bacteria, harmless to other microflora and fauna and doesn’t have residual issues as in the case of antibiotics.
The “phage prophylaxis and therapy” was developed by CIBA using bacteriophages for the biocontrol of bacterial diseases, particularly vibriosis, in aquaculture settings. Dr. S.V. Alavandi, principal scientist and head, AAHED, CIBA, highlighted the importance of this new-generation technology for prevention and control of vibriosis, particularly in shrimp hatcheries. He mentioned that the formulation comprised of broad-spectrum lytic bacteriophages from aquaculture systems and also from the coastal ecosystems of India and had proven its efficacy in field evaluation trials.
M/s Salem Microbes Pvt Ltd is an established firm and leader in aquaculture and animal husbandry involved in research and development, production and marketing of microbial products, with a track record of two decades. The company has been focusing on the exploitation of microbes for improved farming productivity and environmental quality. Mr. D. Ramesh Kumar, CEO of M/s Salem Microbes, said that the phage therapy is a safe alternative to tackle the antimicrobial resistance (AMR) issue in shrimp hatchery operations.