Tilapia is one of the most important fish in aquaculture in Thailand. Vaccination is part of the disease management program of tilapia farming. Among the vaccine administration options, immersion vaccination is by far more applicable to aquaculture compared to injection, as it can be applied to fish in mass rather than individual injection, thus saving time and labor for farmers and eliminating the use of antibiotics.

NANOTEC-NSTDA in collaboration with Chulalongkorn University successfully developed highly effective immersion fish vaccine against Flavobacterium columnare, the causative agent of columnaris disease in red tilapia. The vaccine efficacy is enhanced by mucoadhesive vaccine delivery system. This novel delivery system greatly increases mucoadhesiveness of the vaccine, thus increasing the chances of vaccine uptake by the gill mucosa and improving the protection against columnaris infection.

This invention was co-developed by Dr. Teerapong Yata of NANOTEC and Dr. Channarong Rodkhum of Chulalongkorn University. Researchers expect to collaborate with industry to develop commercial-scale vaccine production and take this invention to market. This platform can be applied to vaccine development against other fish pathogens such as Aeromonas spp., Francisella spp. and Edwardsiella spp., for instance.