Daniel Gruenberg From Acquestra (Thailand) Co., Ltd. Develops Anti-EMS Shrimp Feed

In a news release dated June 19, 2013, Daniel Gruenberg, CEO of Acquestra (Thailand) Co., Ltd. (formerly Sea Garden Foods) and technical advisor to Sureerath Organic Products Co, Ltd., an organic shrimp farm and feed mill in Chantaburi, Thailand, announced a collaboration with a major prebiotic producer for the joint development of an anti-EMS feed!

Acquestra has an existing feed formula that seems to be showing anti-EMS activity in field tests that are ongoing.  The addition of a prebiotic to the existing formula, a prebiotic that shows clear anti-Vibrio and anti-oxidant activity, should add a synergistic effect to the new feed.  Gruenberg says, “This will further bolster our position in the anti-EMS feed space.  Our feed formula attacks EMS pathology on multiple, synergistic levels.”

Gruenberg continues: “The new feed formulation is complete, and initial batches will be prepared in the coming days.  We are not just a feed mill or additive company; we are active shrimp farmers that have been dealing with EMS since the outbreak hit late last year.  That puts us in a unique position to test and observe results from this new formula.  We have seen sub-clinical signs of EMS that other farms may not be able to detect.  We know how to purposely ‘push’ the shrimp to show EMS symptoms.  This gives us a powerful tool to test the new feed formula.”

“In addition, to our field trials, the feed is scheduled to be tested in professional academic laboratories to confirm whether it can help ward off EMS in a controlled environment.”

“As organically certified farmers, we are acutely aware of the need for a safe, environmental and an effective solution for EMS.  In the coming weeks, we will keep the shrimp farming community updated on the progress of our trials and results.” [READ MORE]


Natural Products Effective Against Shrimp Disease, Suitable as Antibiotic Replacement

Costa Rica is a producer and exporter of Pacific shrimp (Litopenaeus vannamei), which is grown in brackish water ponds in different parts of the country, mainly in the Nicoya Peninsula.

In many cases, production is semi-extensive and is in the hands of individuals and micro enterprises that lack the resources and infrastructure necessary for adequate technical management.

The contamination of shrimp ponds makes shrimp very susceptible to attack by bacteria and viruses that can cause mortalities of up to 100 per cent. This creates serious problems for farmers as many of them are dependent on bank loans.

Currently, the producers resort to using commercial antibiotics to strengthen the immune system of shrimp and to reduce mortality. However these products are not only expensive, but can also be harmful to the environment.

“The idea of this project was to achieve medium to long term solutions using natural techniques to improve the immune system of shrimp, achieve greater weight gains and feed conversions and thereby increase production and consequently economic gains for producers,” said Mr Peña.

The research was supported by companies and institutions such as the Pacific Marine Park, the National Cooperative Salt Producers (CONAPROSAL), the National Veterinary Services Laboratory (LANASEVE) and several research units of the UCR

Alternative to antibiotics

The researcher, who recently graduated as an agronomist, approached the project as part of his final graduation from the School of Animal Husbandry of the UCR.

The idea was to develop an alternative to the excessive use of antibiotics by using natural products which are friendly to the environment to strengthen the immune system of shrimp and are available in the market at an affordable price for the farmers.

The studies used shrimp from farms located in the Nicoya Peninsula. The sample was divided into four groups, three of them had different doses of mannan-oligosaccharides, garlic and a compound of plant extracts added to the feed.

After a period of time, Vibrio parahaemolyticus, one of the most aggressive and damaging bacteria in shrimp farming, was innoculated against. 

The analysis determined that mannan-oligosaccharides and garlic effectively worked against conventional bacteria, reduced mortality and contributed to higher growth rates.

The plant compound was less effective. However, in all three cases the results were superior to those of the control sample of a basic feed.

“It must be that the effect of shrimp cytotoxins produced by bacteria perish, but in many cases did not occur when using garlic or mannan-oligosaccharides. Both performed well, but the garlic was much better,” said Mr Peña.

The study proved that the use of these natural products in shrimp can significantly increase their weight and achieve a better immune response, which also favours a higher income of farmers.

In fact the results are so startling that some farmers in the area of the Gulf of Nicoya are now producing organic shrimp for the international market, using the natural products recommended by Mr Peña.

This is the first study of its kind conducted in the country and although the results are important, Mr Peña acknowledges that much more remains to be investigated.

Economic Importance

Aquatic organisms have emerged as an important source of food and work in Costa Rica. According to the United Nations Organisation for Food and Agriculture (FAO), in 2008 the production of white shrimp in America constituted 80 per cent of global aquaculture production of this species.

According to the Foreign Trade Corporation of Costa Rica (PROCOMER), the country exported a total of $ 5 million shrimp in 2011, 28 per cent more than the previous year, and in August 2012 exceeded $ 3 million dollars, 12 per cent more than the same period last year. Germany and the USA are listed as the main markets.

However, bacterial diseases such as Vibrio spiIn aquaculture production have generated significant economic losses. 

Source: The Fish Site

The role of DNA amplification technology in the diagnosis of infectious diseases

By: Marie Louie, Lisa Louie and Andrew E. Simor


Nucleic acid amplification and detection methods developed in the past decade are useful for the diagnosis and management of a variety of infectious diseases. The most widely used of these methods is the polymerase chain reaction (PCR). PCR assays can detect rapidly and accurately the presence of fastidious and slow-growing microorganisms, such as Chlamydia, mycoplasmas, mycobacteria, herpesviruses and enteroviruses, directly from clinical specimens. Commercial PCR assays for the diagnosis of tuberculosis and genital C. trachomatis infection are now routinely used in many diagnostic laboratories. Assays have also been developed that can detect antimicrobial resistance and are used to identify the cause of infection by organisms that cannot be cultivated. The value of viral load measurement by nucleic acid amplification in the management of patients with HIV infection or hepatitis C has also been well established. However, evaluations of this technology for rapid microbial diagnosis have generally been limited by small samples, and the cost of these assays may be as high as Can$125 per test. As nucleic acid amplification methods continue to evolve, their role in the diagnosis and management of patients with infectious diseases and their impact on clinical outcomes will become better defined. [Full paper]

Histopathology: An Overview

By the Fish Vet Group – Histopathology describes the study of disease and disease processes by the microscopical examination of very thin section of preserved, stained tissues. The actual preparation of stained slides is a highly skilled procedure requiring extreme patience, perseverance and a high degree of consistency to be able to produce the necessary quality of sections for examination.  [READ MORE]