Iowa State University on Tuesday announced that animal science professor Hank Harris has signed an international licensing and marketing agreement for two vaccines to be used in shrimp farming worldwide.

Harris, president of Harrisvaccines, one of the companies helping to develop the vaccines, has reached an agreement with one of Asia’s largest farmed-seafood producers for collaborative research, support and marketing of the products resulting from the research.

The research is aimed at developing vaccines for the deadly shrimp viruses white spot and infectious myonecrosis. While effective vaccines have been developed for the diseases, the challenge now is how to vaccinate individual animals.

“Consider that a typical shrimp production pond is stocked with 500,000 post larvae about the size of mosquitoes. It’s kind of tough for the farmer to inject each animal,” said Harris. “Right now, we’re looking at delivering the vaccine orally in the feed through a pellet they would eat, or immersing the post larvae in [the vaccine] in the water.”

Harris said the new agreement will allow him to have an economically viable vaccine for use in commercial shrimp production in six to 12 months.

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