Ecuadorian Universities seek to contribute with the shrimp industry

Ecuadorian Universities seek to contribute with the shrimp industry

August 7, 2019


Yachay Tech University, ESPOL, and ESPE participate in a joint project to reduce infections related to the vibriosis in shrimp.


Currently, one of the biggest challenges of shrimp production is the infections associated with the Vibro gender. One of these infections, known as Acute Hepatopancreatic Necrosis Disease has proven to be a huge threat to shrimp production around the world. Until now, infections have been treated with antibiotics; however, this method has some problems: first, antibiotics can be harmful to those who consume shrimp and to the environment, and second, the associated bacteria develop fast resistance to antibiotics. For this reason, Yachay Tech University, Escuela Politécnica del Litoral (ESPOL), and Universidad de las Fuerzas Armadas (ESPE) developed a joint project to find alternatives to these antibiotics. The project is financed by ESPE.

This project, titled “Synergistic combination of prebiotics and probiotics as immunostimulants to prevent vibriosis of shrimp grown in Ecuador”. Prebiotics are functional foods that stimulate the growth of bacteria that already exist in the digestive system, while probiotics are functional foods that introduce microorganisms into the digestive system. For this purpose, preliminary studies were conducted to compare the immune system of shrimp after the use of prebiotics, probiotics, and with no treatment.

Now, the goals are to identify prebiotics and to test the immunostimulatory abilities of the proposed prebiotic and probiotic combinations. 

The final goal of the project is to contribute with solutions to one of the worst problems for the national shrimp industry. Additionally, the team seeks to push the industry towards more sustainable solutions. The team in charge of this project is formed by Frank Alexis, Ph.D., Vice Chancellor of Research and Innovation; David García, a Biomedicine major, both from  Yachay Tech; Jenny Rodríguez and Cristóbal Dominguez from ESPOL; Alex Patrice Debut, Ph.D., and Karla Sofía Vizuete from ESPE.



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