Viral Vector for Developing Oral Vaccines and Therapeutics Against Diseases in Aquatic Animals

Case ID:

This technology uses a genetically engineered replication deficient virus as a vector to deliver genes encoding vaccine (i.e. antigen) or therapeutic nucleic acid (e.g. RNAi molecules). The vaccine gene can be purified and used as an injectable vaccine in fin fish. In fin fish, the vaccine gene will express the antigen and immunize the vaccinated fish. In crustaceans, the therapeutic nucleic acid targets pathogenic viruses and enables the host to prevent clinical manifestation and disease development.

Infectious diseases caused by viruses are threats to growth and sustainability of aquaculture industry worldwide. In fact, periodic outbreak of diseases poses the biggest risk in the profitability and expansion of fish, shellfish and crustacean farming. Crowded culture environment also poses high risk for infection. While some vaccines are available for a few viral diseases in fin fish, conventional vaccination approach is not feasible in shellfish and crustaceans due to lack of adaptive immunity in invertebrates. Some infections can be cured using several FDA approved antibiotics and the other medicines.

Apart from diseases, medicines are used to improve the wellbeing of the fish in the aquaculture. Current treatment depends primarily on injections, which is costly and not feasible for shellfish and small fish species. The ability to deliver vaccine and therapeutic molecules via oral route, will open-up a new avenue in managing diseases in aquaculture species.


  • Delivering vaccines to fish and crustaceans


  • Oral
  • Effective
  • Prevents disease
Patent Information:
Contact For More Information:
Tod McCauley
Assistant Director of Licensing, CALS
The University of Arizona
Lead Inventor(s):
Arun Dhar
Arjoneel Dhar
Rod Alenton