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« เมื่อ: มกราคม 27, 2010, 05:37:01 AM »

Promising Sea Louse Vaccine

IRELAND - Irish scientists have had promising results in the search for a vaccine against sea louse.



A picture of the sea louse that plague salmon. Photograph: Getty Images, Eleanor Cunningham, Pablo Rojas/ UCD. Sea louse plague Irish salmon farms and are now threatening wild stocks.

The animal glowing blue in the picture on the right might look pretty, yet its effects are anything but. It's a sea louse that attaches to salmon and causes damage to skin and scales, along with a general decline in the fish's health, reports The Irish Times.

The not-so-pretty parasite is a major problem for fish farmers and could potentially spread to wild populations, which is why researchers at University College Dublin are looking for an effective vaccine to help fish fend off the unwelcome hitchhikers.

Salmon farming confines large numbers of fish at close quarters, a practice that has provided the parasitic louse with something of a sitting target. So despite its tiny size, the sea louse costs Ireland an estimated €670,000 each year, with losses of around €200 million annually worldwide, according to Grace Mulcahy, professor of veterinary microbiology and parasitology at UCD.

TheFishSite News Desk
Friday, January 22, 2010

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