Treatment or Protection Strategies


Prevention and Control

General Methods
Control of furunculosis and vibriosis is best achieved by maintenance of water quality, good husbandry and low stocking densities. This is not, however, always possible, and where outbreaks occur, treatment with antibiotics is the only option (Hjeltnes & Roberts 1993). In areas where a disease is not endemic it is possible to exclude the causative agents by a legislative policy such as

  • 1) restrictions on importation/movement of live fish/eggs and
  • 2) slaughter and disinfection in infected fish farms (Ellis, 1988).

Antibiotics
Treatment of established infections with antimicrobial compounds has been used for the control of many infectious diseases (Ellis, 1988). However, its value is limited since clinically affected fish do not eat and therefore cannot be treated. A successful treatment is dependent on a rapid diagnosis and immediate treatment.

Vaccination
Vaccination has proven to be an efficacious method in preventing furunculosis and vibriosis. Vaccines are preparations of inactivated antigens derived from pathogenic organisms, which will stimulate the immune system to increase the resistance to disease from subsequent infection by a pathogen.

The method of choice for prevention of the disease is therefore vaccination with inactivated whole cells or subunits and an appropriate adjuvant for enhancing the immune response.

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