Suppliers' News

Insect-derived feed supplement helps in the fight against Cold Water Disease

Tuesday, November 24, 2020

Oreka Solutions and the University of Idaho announced ground-breaking research showing that Oreka’s insect-based feed ingredient Immaris could help trout and salmon fight Cold Water Disease (CWD).

CWD is one of the major diseases affecting trout and salmon farming. According to the USDA, CWD can kill up to a third of infected hatchery stock and causes significant economic impact to the $13.7-billion salmonid aquaculture industry. There is no commercial vaccine for CWD and fish veterinarians have a limited repertoire of microbials to manage disease outbreaks.

Oreka Solutions, a Canadian feed additive company, has pioneered the development of anti-microbially optimized supplements derived from black soldier flies for use in animal feed. Its products help improve gut health, leading to improved growth and feed conversion rates.

In the short-term study, fish fed a diet containing Oreka’s Immaris product exhibited improved levels of resistance to CWD and mortality reduction. The research was led by Vikas Kumar, at the Fish Nutrition and Nutrigenomics laboratory at the University of Idaho.

“These findings represent an exciting development,” said Kumar. “Inflammatory response is a major cause of death in fish infected with Flaviobacterium psychrophilum, the cause of CWD. In the trials, we saw that a small inclusion of Immaris in the diet of infected rainbow trout significantly increased the production of certain cytokines that could mean an enhanced immune response. In addition, we saw early indications of improvements in mortality reduction. Together these results are very promising and show that there are new tools that could help in the fight against CWD.”

James Alden, CEO of Oreka Solutions, added that “while we have validated the performance of Immaris on growth rates and feed conversion in a variety of species, this study is the first to help validate what we have suspected for a while – that it may also have real immunostimulatory properties. It has taken five years of dedicated R&D to develop our Immaris product and we thank the fabulous team at the University of Idaho, who have partnered with us to demonstrate the potential of our product in helping address CWD.”

Oreka is currently expanding its production to serve larger sections of the North American aquaculture and livestock industries while developing partnerships with feed and animal health companies to bring the benefits of Immaris to as many farmers as possible.

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