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CSIRO develops new shrimp health test

Australian startup Genics, which spun-out of CSIRO, will commercialize a new test that can detect 13 commercially significant shrimp diseases, including white spot syndrome and infectious hypodermal and haematopoietic necrosis virus (IHHNV).

CSIRO develops new shrimp health test

December 5, 2019


Australian startup Genics, which spun-out of CSIRO, will commercialize a new test to detect shrimp diseases. The test uses CSIRO’s Shrimp MultiPath technology and can detect 13 commercially significant shrimp diseases, including white spot syndrome, which wiped out many shrimp populations in 2016, and infectious hypodermal and haematopoietic necrosis virus (IHHNV). The tests will allow farmers to better manage their shrimp stocks as they grow, helping them to minimize stock losses and significantly boost their production levels, which could reduce Australia’s reliance on imported shimps.

Genics CEO and former CSIRO scientist, Melony Sellars, said the technology comes at an opportune time for the domestic shrimp farming industry after losses from pathogens over the last three years. “Australia already has some of the best shrimp you can buy. However, the good news for Australian consumers ahead of Christmas is that we’re helping to grow more shrimp, and make them even better,” Sellars said.

Three years ago, the southeast Queensland shrimp industry – responsible for around 40% of Australia’s farmed shrimps – was shut down by the foreign incursion of white spot syndrome virus. “Shrimp MultiPath tests against white spot, as well as other international pathogens that we don’t currently have in Australia,” Sellars said. “This technology can also be used as a detection system by biosecurity agencies to prevent the spread of any potential future incursions that could harm our industry.”

CSIRO chief executive, Larry Marshall, congratulated Genics on translating breakthrough research into marketplace benefit. “It’s great to see CSIRO science being accelerated out of the lab and into a startup that could tackle our global food security challenge, a very clear public benefit – while also giving Aussies more shrimp to enjoy with family and friends,” Marshall said.

Genics is now delivering Shrimp MultiPath to shrimp farmers in Australia and overseas, together with other shrimp health diagnostic services. The Genics team developed the Shrimp MultiPath technology drawing on CSIRO’s aquaculture expertise and are alumni of the national sci-tech accelerator, ON Accelerate, powered by CSIRO.

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