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Published on May 31, 2021

Disease resistant strains offer a sustainable solution

Infectious diseases remain the single largest cause of production related mortality in the rainbow trout industry. With Flavobacterium psychrophilum leading to substantial losses globally, Troutlodge uses genomic selection as a solution for increased disease resistance.

Found worldwide, impacting most trout growers, regardless of intensity, Flavobacterium psychrophilum causes outbreaks of Bacterial Cold Water Disease (BCWD) also known as Rainbow Trout Fry Syndrome. These outbreaks can carry an extremely high mortality rate in the commercial rearing of Rainbow Trout, as well as causing deformities in survivors and leaving affected populations vulnerable to secondary infections. A significant amount of research has been done in attempts to develop protection, via feed additives and vaccination however no commercially effective vaccine has yet been produced. Offering a sustainable solution, Troutlodge has developed strains with increased resistance to flavobacteriosis to help combat this challenge.

Selective breeding program

Through the use of genomic selection, we are able to achieve significant improvements in survival and enhanced resistance to BCWD. Our May spawning strain has shown that genomic selection is a highly effective tool to select for improvements in disease resistance. Expanded use of this technology is underway, with plans for BCWD improvements in our November spawning strain to be made available in 2022, with additional brood groups to follow.

Benefits of disease resistant strains

Troutlodge products selected for BCWD resistance have been commercially available since 2017, and along the way we have been receiving many positive remarks from clients. Chalke Valley Trout Farm at Trafalgar Fisheries recently shared their positive experience with a May batch they received from us in June 2020.

Since 2019, Chalke Valley Trout Farm at Trafalgar Fisheries had been suffering from Infectious Pancreatic Necrosis (IPN), that they presume may have been brought in on a batch of eggs from a previous supplier. Continuing to tighten their biosecurity, cleaning and disinfection measures, they came to the conclusion that because RTFS occurs quite regularly, the fry getting RTFS at an early stage is causing an immunosuppressant effect.

With disease resistant strains from Troutlodge as a viable solution, we are able to curb the impact of IPN, reduce mortality and increase sustainability for the entire trout industry.

“The Jumper batch that arrived in June from Troutlodge to put it bluntly was amazing! There was no RTFS or IPN at all. We treated them once just after cleaning, which is just routine here and they didn't even see any antibiotics when they left our facility. Our customer who received them claimed they were the best fry they've ever had and they are still going strong with minimal issues.”

Mike Sherwood, Aquaculture Technician and Wesley Hulme, Hatchery Manager at Chalke Valley Trout Farm at Trafalgar Fisheries.

Continuous improvement for future generations

Troutlodge has been a leader in trout breeding for a long time but the application of genomics has allowed us to advance our breeding programs even further towards the next level of trout breeding. With our standard practice now to use genomic selection for disease resistance, we are one of the first companies in the trout industry regularly applying this technology and making the resultant advances in genetics commercially available.

All eggs shipped from Troutlodge are certified disease-free through an extensive, independent process that meets and exceeds OIE standards. Because of our global customer base, our products are subject to a wide variety of health certification requirements, as well as a comprehensive testing program that is unparalleled in the industry.

We believe continuous improvement and superior genetics can provide a sustainable solution for challenges currently facing the trout industry. Through the feedback we gather from our clients, we are able to improve the quality of our products and deliver enhancements to our breeding programs.

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