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Centre for Fish Immunology

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  • Aquaculture will be a key source of food/dietary protein for the teeming millions of people in the new century, as world fish production through capture fisheries reaches its maximum owing to overexploitation.
  • Present aquaculture production has almost surpassed that of capture fisheries. At least 50% of the fish consumed by humans are farm- reared.
  • India has the ability to produce many times more cultural fish than it now does. However one of the main reasons for this failure is the large scale mortalities of fish due to aquatic environmental pollution, crowding other stressors leading to immunosuppression and the consequent microbial infectious diseases.
  • Fish diseases can be controlled by immunological and other ways such as by using antibiotics and immunoprophylactic measures like Vaccines and Immunostimulants.
  • A greater understanding of fish immunity is required to create effective immuno-prophylactic and immunotherapeutic strategies for curing fish diseases.
  • The Centre provides the necessary facilities for training and research in Fish Immunology which is a newly emerged discipline in life sciences.
  • There are indeed a few institutions working in the field of fish immunology at the national level. This is due to a shortage of skilled staff and the fact that the field is new.
  • In the School of Life Sciences, VISTAS, Immunology and Fish Immunology have been identified as an area for intensive study and research respectively.

Research and Consultancy

  • Research in Fish Immunology- Immunomodulation, Immunostimulants and Immunotoxicology with reference to finfish aquaculture.
  • Providing consultancy service to the fish farmers on fish health (prophylaxis and therapy) and the culture environment (pollution etc) and to the pharmaceutical companies on vaccine/immunostimulant efficacy (testing) and protocols for drug administration.
  • Consultancy service to research students on methods and approaches for a research problem/topic related to Fish Immunology
  • Providing library facilities for researchers in fish immunology from all over the country.
  • Offering short term training in (Fish) Immunology techniques for young college/university teachers/researchers.

Center Utilization

  • On a regular basis, the university faculty and graduate students (M.Sc, and Ph.D) who are interested in the field of Immunology and Fish Immunology.
  • Members of the institutions collaborating with School of Life Sciences,VISTAS
  • On appointment, students, teachers and scientists from other institutions for literature search, discussion and short term study.

Members of the Centre

The group normally includes Fish Immunology doctoral scholars, M.Phil. students, Technical Assistant, field/lab Assistant, collaborating faculty fellows and the Dean of Life Sciences.

Thrust areas

The thrust areas of research interest include developing environment-friendly prophylactic and therapeutic immunostimulants from terrestrial and marine plants for culture fish. Another area is heavy metal- induced immunosuppression in fish and this aspect has relevance to extensive cultures in large water bodies which are more often receive polluted waters form rivers and canals which are polluted by industrial effluents. Stress-induced immunomodulation due to physical and social sressors (e.g over crowding, all male culture etc.) is another priority area of research in this centre.


Prof. Dr. A.K. Kathireshan

Director, School of Life Sciences,

Vels Institute of Science, Technology & Advanced Studies (VISTAS),

PV Vaithiyalingam Rd, Velan Nagar, Pallavaram, Chennai – 600 117, Tamil Nadu, India