Back to news overview

Big problems from tiny travelers – A global review of tilapias parasites

In the past months, our Technical Support Team has worked on a series of publications regarding different species, notably Tilapia, ranging from pathogenic parasites in farmed tilapia to lumpy skin disease of snakeskin gourami.

During the year, our team spends over 70% of their time traveling and gathering all types of information, that will later be shared via articles and publications using trustworthy sources, such as scientific journals. Below, we are sharing one of our team member’s brilliant publication, and a recap to other publications within the INVE Technical Support Team.

Over the past 80 years, tilapias have been translocated globally for aquaculture, with active production recorded in over 124 countries. Of the 7 million tonnes of tilapia produced in aquaculture, a staggering 79% is from 79 countries outside the natural range of tilapia, and a further 340,000 tonnes (47+%) are landed from established invasive populations outside Africa. Tilapias are known to harbour a diverse range of parasites, and many of these parasites have been translocated along with their hosts to new environments.

A recent review by Andy Shinn and colleagues published in Reviews in Aquaculture looked at more than 2500 host-parasite records from 73+ countries and over 820 recorded tilapia translocations to highlight the major parasites that threaten the health of cultured populations of tilapia. The review includes a description of the pathology of these parasites and their impact on both cultured and wild populations of tilapia. For each major parasite taxonomic group, the review highlights which parasites have been translocated or acquired from new environments, together with remarks on standard treatment approaches and research on their management and control.

Of particular concern is the substantial knowledge gap about tilapia parasites in many African states, where aquaculture has enormous potential for growth. This knowledge gap creates significant production and biosecurity risks associated with the expansion of tilapia aquaculture industries. As such, the review highlights the risks of parasite translocation to new regions as tilapia aquaculture industries expand and the need for further research and management strategies to minimize these risks.

In summary, the global translocation of tilapia for aquaculture has brought significant economic benefits, but it has also brought the risk of translocating parasites that pose significant threats to the health of cultured populations of tilapia, as well as wild populations. As the industry continues to expand, it is essential to develop management and control strategies that minimize these risks while maximizing the potential benefits of tilapia aquaculture.

If you have questions about this publication or those listed below, you can contact us via our Customer Support platform

Watch Andy Shinn’s FAO presentation at Tilapia Health Webinar.

Here is a recap of all the most recent publications, including the one mentioned above, and where to find them:

  1. A global review of problematic and pathogenic parasites of farmed tilapia – Reviews in Aquaculture (Jan 2023)
  2. Cage culture of finfish: Its importance, distributions and future modifications in ongoing climate change – Book chapter CABI Digital Library (March 2023)
  3. Infectious diseases of warmwater fish in fresh water – Book chapter CABI Digital Library (March 2023)
  4. Biosecurity; Current and future strategies – Book chapter CABI Digital Library (March 2023)
  5. Biosecurity: Reducing the burden of disease – Journal of the World Aquaculture Society
  6. Lumpy skin disease of snakeskin gourami – Aquaculture (Science Direct)
  7. Acute mortality of Penaeus vannamei larvae in hatcheries due to Vibrio carrying VpPirAB toxin genes – Aquaculture International (April 2023)

To know more about our team’s collaboration and latest publications, follow them on ResearchGate and LinkedIn.

Andrew Shinn
Global Technical Expert (Disease Management)
Research Gate | LinkedIn
Ratchakorn Wongwaradechkul
Regional Technical Support
Research Gate