WisconsinAquaculture.com - Kaolinitic Clay Protects Fish from Columnaris Disease
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Kaolinitic Clay Protects Fish from Columnaris Disease

From USDA-ARS Harry K. Dupree Stuttgart National Aquaculture Research Center, Oct 2013 Stuttgart “Fish Tales”

Columnaris disease, caused by the bacterium Flavobacterium columnare, is a costly disease of many commercially grown fish species including channel catfish.  Despite its importance, few preventatives or therapies exist for this disease.  In this study, a type of clay called kaolin was evaluated for the prevention of columnaris disease.  USDA-ARS scientists in Stuttgart, AR demonstrated that addition of kaolin to the water significantly improved the survival of channel catfish that were experimentally infected with the disease and protected the gill from damage by the bacteria.  Data suggests that kaolin works by binding to the bacteria, thereby preventing it from attaching to the fish and initiating disease.  The impact of this accomplishment is to reduce disease treatments for the industry by providing a new, non-antibiotic treatment to increase survival rates in catfish hatcheries so that producers can have more fish to sell and/or stock.

 

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