Forsøksdyr: Vaccination against salmon lice

Godkjenningsdato 30.10.2018

Godkjenningsperiode 30.10.2018-30.09.2019

Sea Lice Research Centre (SLRC) is an SFI granted 200 million NOK over a period of 8 years. The main goal of the centre is to obtain new knowledge on sea lice biology and to develop new treatments against these important parasites, such as vaccines, drugs and dietary supplements. Partners in the Centre are University of Bergen, Institute of Marine Research, Elanco, Patogen analyse, Marine Harvest, Lerøy, School of Veterinary sciences and Cargill. This application covers activities to test new vaccines.
The aim of the experiment is to test if experimental vaccines can protect Atlantic salmon from salmon lice infections without any negative effects on the fish. Most farmed fish already receive a mixture of vaccines. Therefore, if vaccination is a successful treatment strategy, treatment could be easily implemented with without any harm or additional stress to the fish.
Development of a vaccine against salmon lice will enable farmers to control salmon lice infestations which threatens the production of Atlantic salmon – a key food item in human consumption and a major industry in Norway. Results will be used by the scientific community, as well as the industry including vaccine producers and end users.
The experiment will include three procedures: 1. Pit tagging and vaccination under anesthesia, 2. Boost vaccination (when needed) under anesthesia and 3. Infection with salmon lice. All procedures are expected to cause minimal distress and pain to the fish. Using 375 fish, we will be able to test 4 different vaccines (four vaccine groups (4*75 fish) and one placebo group (1*75 fish)). An identical trial but with new vaccines will be performed 8 months later bringing the total number of fish to 750. At termination, all fish will be sedated and euthanized.

The 3Rs: Replacement: Not possible as fish vaccines against parasites must be tested in live fish to initiate an immune response. Reduction: The number of lice settling on fish is highly variable and 75 fish in each group (triplicate tanks each containing 25 fish) is regarded a minimum for statistical analysis and reproducible results. Refinement: Movement of fish and handling of fish will be kept at a minimum. The infection with lice will be terminated shortly before the majority of lice molts to preadults which minimize the discomfort to the fish.