"Harnessing the Science of Fisheries for Food, Nutrition and Livelihood"

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Department of Fish Pathology and Health Management

Introduction

Aquaculture has gained substantial momentum in the last decade showing 34 % growth since 2007 with 66.6 million tonnes production in 2012 while capture fisheries hovered in the range of 91 million tonnes during the same period (FAO 2014). A biological system with complex interplay of several factors, aquatic life in the aquaculture systems, has always been subjected to biotic and abiotic stress and consequent deterioration of health leading to onset of infectious diseases. Considering this important need for controlling disease incidences and resultant economic losses, Fisheries College and Research Institute, Thoothukudi, has started a fish disease management section in the Department of Aquaculture with establishment of a bacteriology laboratory in 1991 with the help of an International Project obtained from the Asian Fisheries Society, Manila. This lab was further renovated under the National Agricultural Technology Project on Shrimp and Fish Health Management in 2000. The section also established virology and cell culture units in 2001 by a Govt. of Tamil Nadu part II scheme. The Virology and Cell culture units were shifted to a new Fish Virology Laboratory in 2009. In 2013, the section was raised to the Department of Fish Pathology and Health Management by the Tamil Nadu Fisheries University. Faculty serving in the department has undergone international trainings in UK and US apart from visiting seven other countries on official assignments.

In 2016, National Fisheries Development Board (NFDB) has sanctioned the Aquatic Animal Health and Environment Laboratory at a cost of 56.0 lakhs which was established and started functioning in the Department of Fish Pathology and Health Management during 2016-2017. The department is capable of undertaking level III diagnosis of fish and shellfish diseases and has been imparting services to farmers and line department personnel. Currently department is also undertaking international collaborative project in DBT-BBSRC funded project on Novel Molecular Approaches for Advancing Prediction and Mitigation of Disease Outbreaks in Aquaculture for Small –scale Farmers.

Objectives

  • To offer courses in Fish Pathology and Health Management subjects for undergraduate, postgraduate and PhD students.
  • To undertake surveillance of existing and emerging fish and shellfish diseases in Tamil Nadu.
  • To develop improved diagnostic techniques for the detection of existing and emerging fish and shellfish diseases.
  • To develop prophylactic and therapeutic measures including herbal remedies with nutraceutical and immunostimulant formulations for the control of fish and shellfish diseases and study the pharmacodynamics and pharmacokinetics of select formulations.
  • To offer training programme in fish disease diagnostic techniques and fish health management strategies to farmers, entrepreneurs, research students, scientists, bankers, social service organizations etc. and disseminate scientific knowhow through extension materials books, booklets, articles etc.,

Teaching

Sl.No Course No Title of the Course Credit Hours
1 ELP 413 Aquaclinic 0+5
2 FPH 221 Pharmacology 3 (2+1)
3 PFH 313 Fish Diseases and Management 4 (2+2)
4 FPH 322 Chemotherapy and drugs in Aquaculture 3 (2+1)
5 FS-207 Fish Immunology 2 (1+1)
6 FS-216 Fish and Shellfish Pathology 3 (2+1)
7 FPH 321 Fish Toxicology 2 (1+1)
Sl.No Course No Title of the Course Credit Hours
1 AAH 501 Viral and bacterial diseases of finfish and shellfish 2+1
2 AAH 502 Parasitic disease of finfish and shellfish 2+1
3 AAH 503 Health Management in Aquaculture 2+1
4 AAH 504 Systemic Fish Pathology 2+1
5 AAH 505 Fish Immunology 2+1
6 AAH 506 Microbiological Techniques 1+1
7 AAH 507 Fish Virology and Cell Culture 2+1
8 AAH 508 Clinical Pathology 1+1
9 AAH 509 Non Infectious and Fungal Diseases 1+1
10 AAH 510 Aquatic Environment and Fish Health 1+1
11 AAH 511 Diagnostic Techniques 1+1
12 AQC 504 Aquatic Animal Health Management 2+1
Sl.No Course No Title of the Course Credit Hours
1 AAH 601 Fish and Shellfish Virology 2+1
2 AAH 602 Advances in Parasitology 2+1
3 AAH 603 Molecular Mechanisms in Disease Process 2+1
4 AAH 604 Crustacean Pathology 1+1
5 AAH 605 Fish Pharmacology 2+1
6 AAH 606 Biotechnological Tools in Disease Diagnosis 1+1
7 AAH 607 Public Health Microbiology and Epidemiology 2+1
8 AAH 608 Molecular Techniques in Microbiology 1+1
9 AAH 609 Fish Mycology and Virology 1+1

Research Projects

Sl.No Title of the Project Year PI & Co- PI of the Project Funds (in Rs. lakhs) Funding Agency
1 Establishment of fish and shellfish health certification and diseases surveillance laboratories in Tamil Nadu for enhancement for aquaculture production 2016 - 2018 PI
Dr. K. Riji John
Co-PI
Dr. M. Rosalind George
Dr. A. Uma
Th. T. Anand
491.075 NADP
2 Novel molecular approaches for advancing prediction and mitigation of disease outbreaks in aquaculture for small scale farmers 2016 - 2019 PI
Dr. K. Riji John
Co-PI
Dr. M. Rosalind George
109.912 DBTBBSRC
Sl.No Title of the Project Year PI & Co- PI of the Project Funds (in Rs) Funding Agency
1 National Surveillance programme for Aquatic Animal Diseases 2013 - 2018 PI
Dr. K. Riji John
Co-PI
Dr. M. Rosalind George
Mrs. B. Chrisolite
Dr. M. J. Prince Jeyaseelan
Dr. A. Uma
80.43 NFDBICAR
2 Aquatic Animal Health and Environment Management Laboratory 2016 - 2017 PI
Dr. M. Rosalind George
Co-PI
Dr. K. Riji John
Dr. P. Padmavathy
56.00 NFDB
3 Molecular characterisation of pathogens associated with fish diseases in Assam 2013 - 2014 PI
Dr. M. Rosalind George
Co-PI
Dr. K. Riji John
Mrs. B. Chrisolite
8.73 DBT -NET
4 Characterisation and maintenance of cell lines of fish and crab 2012 - 2014 PI
Dr. K. Riji John
Co-PI
Dr. M. Rosalind George
9.81 DBT

Outreach/Extension activities

Sl.No Name of the Extension Activities / Program Year Beneficiary
ICAR Short Course
1 ICAR short course on Advanced virological techniques in fish disease diagnosis 10.09.2014 - 19.09.2014 15
Off Campus Awareness Programmes
1 Off campus awareness programme on surveillance on shrimp diseases at Thopputhurai 11.03.2014 87
2 Off campus awareness programme on surveillance on shrimp diseases at Manamelkudi 13.03.2014 70
3 Awareness programme on Fish Disease Surveillance 24.07.2014 75
4 Awareness programme on Shrimp Disease Surveillance 25.07.2014 65
5 Summer training on Virological techniques in fish disease diagnosis 4.05.2015 - 13.05.2015 3
6 Awareness Programme on National Surveillance at Thethakudi and Averikkad region 29.12.2015 - 30.12.2015 25
7 Awareness Programme Shrimp Disease Surveillance at Velankanni 12.03.2016 39
8 Awareness Programme on Fish and shrimp farmers at Ramanathapuram 29.06.2016 56
9 National Fish Farmers day celebration at FCRI Thoothukudi 11.07.2016 44
10 Awareness Programme on Fish and shrimp farmers at Nagapattinam 24.03.2017 48
11 Awareness Programme on Fish and shrimp farmers at Thiruvarur districts 25.03.2017 36

Infrastructure

  • Bacteriology Laboratory
  • Virology Laboratory
  • Cell Culture Laboratory
  • Histopathology Laboratory
  • Challenge Room
  • Equipment
    • Refrigerated Centrifuges
    • Ultra Centrifuge
    • Upright and Inverted Microscopes with Fluorescence and Photomicrography
    • Cooling Incubators
    • Flash Evaporator
    • Thermal Cyclers
    • Real Time PCR
    • Gel doc System
    • UV Spectrophotometer
    • Luminometer
    • ELISA Reader
    • Osmometer
    • Biosafety Cabinets
    • Cryocans
    • DNA Concentrator
    • Ultra Deep Freezers
    • Freeze Dryer
    • Temperature Controlled Water Baths
    • Water Purification System
    • Microtome
    • Autoclaves, Ovens, Incubators, Water Baths, Printers, Computers, Refrigerators, UPS, PCR Work Stations, Gel Electrophoresis Systems, Western Blot Apparatus, Digital Balances, Digital Camera, etc.,

Achievements

  • Isolated and characterised a new rhabdovirus from snakehead. Won Best oral paper award in the 11th Indian Fisheries and Aquaculture Forum, Kochi.
  • Isolated and characterised Photobacterium damselae subsp. damselae from infected cobia. This is the first isolation of this bacteria from infected fish from the east coast of India.
  • Established the presence of viral agents in the infected fishes collected from Northeast India (carried out under the DBT-Northeast India Twinning programme) – Fish pathology 50 (S66-S74).
  • Isolated a new virus from infected ornamental fish (Similar damselfish Pomacentrus similis) won Best poster paper award in the 10th Indian Fisheries and Aquaculture Forum, Lucknow (Virus disease DOI: 10.1007/s13337-017-0408-2).
  • Two genes of the betanodavirus Indian strain were fully sequenced after cloning in pUC18 plasmid with T7 promoter and sequences were deposited in Genbank (HM485328; JQ073720).
  • Isolated and characterised new viruses from infected brackishwater (Aquaculture Research 45, 1481–1488) and freshwater fishes using cell lines developed in the lab. Two viruses are first time isolation in India (Journal of Fish Diseases 2015, 38, 389–403.
  • Found out the biological variability of white spot syndrome virus isolates from different geographical locations in India (Journal of Fish Diseases 33: 749–758).
  • Documented pathogenicity and genome alteration of WSSV after passage through different hosts - reported first time globally (Aquaculture 261:54-63).
  • Established and characterised continuous cell lines from seabass fish kidney and caudal peduncle and from snakehead fish kidney. The cell lines formed the basic requirement of fish viral disease investigations. Two cell lines were deposited at NCCS, Pune and four at NRFC, NBFGR

Current Focus

  • Emerging fish and shrimp disease diagnosis
  • Surveillance of fish and shrimp diseases in Tamil Nadu
  • Improved diagnostic techniques for fish and shrimp diseases
  • Prophylactic measures for fish and shrimp disease control

Faculty

Name Designation E-mail Mobile No
Dr. K. Riji John Professor & Head rijijohn@gmail.com 9443657839
Mrs. Ranjeeta Kumari Assistant Professor ranjeeta.cife27@gmail.com 9791571594

Publications

  • Kole, S., Kumari, R., Anand, D., Kumar, S., Sharma, R., Tripathi, G., Makesh, M., Rajendran, K.V. and Bedekar, M.K., 2018. Nanoconjugation of bicistronic DNA vaccine against Edwardsiellatarda using chitosan nanoparticles: Evaluation of its protective efficacy and immune modulatory effects in Labeorohita vaccinated by different delivery routes. Vaccine, 36(16), pp.2155-2165.
  • Kumari, R., Kole, S., Soman, P., Rathore, G., Tripathi, G., Makesh, M., Rajendran, K.V. and Bedekar, M.K., 2018. Bicistronic DNA vaccine against Edwardsiellatarda infection in Labeorohita: Construction and comparative evaluation of its protective efficacy against monocistronic DNA vaccine. Aquaculture, 485, pp.201-209.
  • Petchimuthu M., M. Rosalind George, K. Riji John, D. Kaviarasu, R. Dinesh. 2018. Occurrence of parasites in aquaculture systems of South Tamil Nadu. Journal of Entomology and Zoology Studies 6(2): 283-286.
  • Sivasankar, P., Riji John, K., Rosalind George, M., Kaviarasu, D., Mohamed Mansoor, M., and Magesh Kumar, P. 2017. RNA viral diseases of finfish: A review. International Journal of Current Research 9 (11): 60206-60215.
  • P. Sivasankar, K. Riji John*, M. Rosalind George, P. Magesh Kumar, M. Mohamed Manzoor, M. J. Prince Jeyaseelan 2017 Characterization of a virulent ranavirus isolated from marine ornamental fish in India. Virus Disease 28(4):373–382.
  • P. Sivasankar, K. Riji John, M. Rosalind George, M. Mohamed Mansoor, P. Magesh Kumar, M. Selvamagheswaran 2017. Immune gene expression against similar damselfish virus (SRDV) induced by immunization with inactivated vaccine in juvenile koi carp. International Journal of Current Microbiology and Applied Sciences 6(9): 1391-1402.
  • P. Sivasankar, K. Riji John, M. Rosalind George, D. Kaviarasu, S.V. Anushalini, and M. Petchimuthu 2017. Prophylactics in shrimp aquaculture health management: a review Journal of Entomology and Zoology Studies 5(4): 1049-1055.
  • Dinesh, R., Rosalind George, M., Riji John, K., and Abraham, S.2017. TiLV - A Worldwide Menace to Tilapiine Aquaculture Journal of Entomology and Zoology Studies: 5(2) 605 -607.
  • T. Gauravkumar, K. Riji John, M. Rosalind George and M.J. Prince Jeyaseelan 2017. Current status of viral diseases in indian shrimp aquaculture. Acta virologica 61: 131 – 137.
  • S. Ajidhaslin, K. Riji John, M. Rosalind George, P. Magesh Kumar, M. Mohamed Mansoor 2016. Modulation of innate immune gene expression in seabass (Lates calcarifer Bloch, 1790) cell lines on nodavirus infection. Journal of Cell and Tissue Research 16(3) 5881-5887.
  • K. Riji John, M. Rosalind George, Devashish Kar, M. Mohamed Mansoor, P. Magesh Kumar, Ratnabir Singha, Gusheinzed Waikhom 2016. Detection of Ranavirus infection in cultivated carps of Northeast India. Fish Pathology 50: S66-S74.
  • M. Rosalind George, K. Riji John, M. Mohamed Mansoor, R. Saravanakumar, P. Sundar, and V Pradeep 2015 Isolation and characterisation of a ranavirus from koi experiencing mass mortalities in India. Journal of Fish Diseases, 38, 389–403.
  • Anix Vivek Santhyia, A, M Rosalind George, K Riji John and M J Prince Jeyaseelan 2015. Molecular variations in Vibrio alginolyticus and V. harveyi from shrimp farming systems upon stress Brazilian Journal of Microbiology 46, 4, 1001-1008.
  • K Riji John, M Rosalind George, Bridget Jeyatha, R Saravanakumar, P Sundar, K.P Jitendran and Erling Olaf Koppang. 2014. Isolation and characterization of Indian betanodavirus strain from infected farm reared Asian seabass Lates calcarifer (Bloch, 1790) juveniles. Aquaculture Research 45: 1481–1488.
  • K Riji John and M Rosalind George. Viruses associated with epizootic ulcerative syndrome (EUS) – an update 2012. Indian Journal of Virology 23(2):106–113.
  • K Janarthanam, M Rosalind George, K Riji john, M J Prince Jeyaseelan 2012. In vitro and in vivo biocontrol of Vibrio harveyi using indigenous bacterium, Bacillus spp. Indian Journal of Geo-Marine Sciences 41:83-89.
  • K Riji John, M Rosalind George, T Iyappan, A Jemila Thangarani and M J Prince Jeyaseelan 2010. Indian isolates of white spot syndrome virus exhibit variations in the pathogenicity and genomic tandem repeats. Journal of Fish Diseases 33: 749–758.
  • Satendra Kumar, M. Rosalind George, K. Riji John, and M. J. Prince Jeyaseelan. 2007. Molecular typing of Vibrio harveyi and V. alginolyticus from shrimp farming systems. Indian Journal of Marine Sciences 36:43-50.
  • Gusheinzed Waikhom, K. Riji John, M. Rosalind George and M. J. Prince Jeyaseelan. 2006. Differential host passaging alters pathogenicity and induce genomic variation in white spot syndrome virus. Aquaculture 261:54-63.
  • M. Rosalind George, A. Maharajan, K. Riji John & M. J. Prince Jeyaseelan. 2005. Shrimps survive white spot syndrome virus challenge following treatment with vibrio bacterin. Indian Journal of Experimental Biology 44:63-67.