Skretting and HIPRA combine expertise to tackle trout disease

The companies partnered to combine feed and vaccines to protect trout from Lactococcus garvieae infection.

March 21, 2023

In recognition of the major threat that the highly-infectious bacterial disease Lactococcosis poses to aquaculture in terms of mortalities and production loss, aquafeed producer Skretting Italy and biotech pharmaceutical company HIPRA have come together in a new partnership to provide trout farmers with a practical and sustainable solution package that is focused on limiting its impact.

The new Skretting-HIPRA collaboration follows a workshop that addressed Lactococcosis management in trout production which the two companies jointly hosted at the AQUAFARM 2023 exhibition in Pordenone, Italy in February 2023. With the aim to accelerate initiatives that reduce aquaculture’s reliance on antibiotics through best-practices and proactive health, the partners’ industry-first solution combines Skretting’s functional diets OPTILINE HT and PROTEC™ with HIPRA’s ICTHIOVAC LG vaccine into one collective approach.

“This disease is the industry’s number one threat, and is becoming more and more problematic. However, through our commitment to responsible, progressive aquaculture, Skretting and HIPRA are working together to establish a clear pathway that benefits trout farmers – utilizing our knowledge, experience and innovation to improve the health and productivity of farms throughout Italy and beyond,” said Umberto Luzzana, marketing manager at Skretting Italy.

The Skretting-HIPRA solution uses OPTILINE HT in temperatures above 18°C to support the fish in temperatures exceeding the optimal range, while the HIPRA ICTHIOVAC LG vaccine protects trout specifically from Lactococcus garvieae infection. Involving PROTEC™ in the vaccination protocol supports their immune response and external barriers and also aids post-vaccination recovery, with the recommendation to introduce it four weeks before vaccination and continue with its use until two weeks after.

“With this cooperation and our combined solution comes the opportunity for the trout industry to unlock more of its full potential. Because Lactococcosis mainly affects larger fish, farmers either use antibiotics or scale back their production and harvest their fish early and at smaller sizes to avoid the summer temperatures. This considerably reduces the biomass produced and consequently the farm revenue. Therefore, this solution also makes economic sense,” said Raúl Benito, global franchise manager aqua at HIPRA.

To further help producers, the Skretting-HIPRA partnership is producing a vaccination checklist that includes recommendations for best-practice as well as social media content.