Controlling new pathogens before they become a threat

New pathogens are discovered every day. Disinfectants equipped to eradicate the microbial threats of today and tomorrow are crucial for fish health—and farm economics.

Every autumn, a new anti-influenza injection is available. But nobody knows how effective each year’s vaccine will be. While people get flu shots to stay protected from the flu, engineering the injection is a gamble for experts in the field every year. After all, it’s impossible to know which type and strain of influenza will be dominant each year. All too often, flu season is dominated by a new strain that hasn’t been discovered.

Whenever new pathogens are discovered, experts face a similar set of challenges. For example, Canadian researchers recently identified three new viruses that are affecting both wild and farmed salmon in the North Pacific. It remains to be seen what impact these viruses are having on the environment. But pundits believe that these still unknown types of arena, nido and reo viruses may play a role in the ever-reducing wild populations of Chinook and sockeye salmon. If that’s the case, the viruses not only have a tremendous impact on the fish themselves, but also the various stakeholders involved in the ecosystem—like people who make a living from fishing, sports anglers, hatcheries, and more.

The fact that researchers are discovering new viruses—those that are possibly endemic—is not surprising given the powerful detection techniques developed in recent years—such as DNA sequencing. What’s important for the aquaculture industry, though, is to make sure that farmers have no role in the proliferation of these pathogenic viruses. In that respect, it is a bit questionable that one of the viruses has been identified exclusively at salmon hatcheries—and not in the wild.

When it concerns such an intensive method of growing animals, we should build shields that protect fish both inside and outside from infections and other harm. The industry does not want to be responsible for the release of pathogens that originate from farm environments—the same way that it doesn’t want to import endemic pathogens from the wild that may lead to serious welfare conditions and economic losses at farms.

This is, of course, easier said than done. The shield mentioned earlier is our standard operating procedure that includes intensive analytical efforts to know what is coming in and going out of our farms. Biosecurity is an essential—if not the most essential—theme in this.

With the right procedures and the right products in place, all pathogens—whether they are known or haven’t been discovered yet—aren’t an issue to any farm. They are not in any effluents, either.

One of the key ingredients in a safe farm is Halamid® , a powerful biocide that is effective against the broadest possible range of viruses (as well as bacteria and fungi). At the same time, Halamid® is still mild enough to be handled by any operator. Halamid® already eradicates the new viruses mentioned above and—thanks to its formula—is well placed to eradicate all of the new viruses that researchers discover over the next 10 years.

And that’s a comforting thought for anyone interested in protecting fish life and keeping farms free of pathogens.

To learn more about the transformative nature of Halamid® , check this out.

A comforting thought.