Fish-borne Zoonotic Parasites in Vietnam II (FIBOZOPA)

Project summary

In the second phase (2007-2011) of the research capacity building project “Fishborne Zoonotic Parasites (FIBOZOPA) activities in Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos will be implemented that: a) build the capacity needed for risk assessment and integrated control of fish-borne zoonotic parasites (FZP) at partner institutions and create training material for integration into national curricula and training programs; b) develop new diagnostic and risk assessment tools for FZP detection, control evaluations and geographic FZP epidemiological research; c) develop new and integrated control strategies for FZP in major Vietnamese aquaculture systems; d) characterize the important risk factors in the occurrence, transmission and control of FZP in production of fresh water fish species in Cambodia and Laos; and e) disseminate widely the knowledge and recommendations from the project to the public and to the end-users. Special emphasis will be made to develop molecular diagnostic tools for all stages of the parasites, and to apply them in risk assessment, control and post harvest inspection projects. Among the control tools and practices that will be evaluated are HACCP-based control in hatcheries and nurseries, and then grow-out systems; biocontrol candidates for snail vectors; on-farm methods to inactivate parasites eggs in fecal waste; anthelminthic treatment of reservoir hosts and human community members; improve water quality by filtering/cleaning of water entering fish ponds; and attempts to alter the raw fish eating behavior of community members by studying their risk perceptions and evaluating the impact of various information and education campaigns to alter this behavior. A national FZP surveillance system for Vietnam will be created and GIS used for monitoring and for developing prediction models for changes in FZP status in Vietnam’s aquaculture sector. Comprehensive investigations will be done in Cambodia and Laos on prevalence, geographical distribution, parasite diversity, and especially, risk factor assessments relevant to aquaculture and other fish sources, which seem lacking for both countries. Activities in Vietnam will be planned and conducted in close collaboration with the Ministry of Fisheries and end-users, including household aquaculture farmers and private sector.


Project Completion Report:

The development of the aquaculture sector in Vietnam has been a success story in terms of increase in production volume as well as value. Ensuring a safe and high quality product from aquaculture to the consumer, both national as well as international is high on the political agenda for both EU and for the Vietnamese government. One of the food safety issues is infections of humans with fish-borne zoonot ictrematodes (FZT). It is estimated FZT currently infect more than 18 million people mostly in South and South East Asia.

FIBOZOPA have been a successful research and capacity building project, working on reducing FZT parasites in fish from aquaculture through low-tech interventions at farm level to increase food safety of the fish. FIBOZOPA was designed to mitigate risk factors for transmission of FZT to fish. The development objective of FIBOZOPA was to successfuily establish integrated control of FZTs in selected aquaculture systems, The outcome from the research did successfully aid in the development and establishment of guidelines and strategies for integrated control of FZTs in aquaculture and facilitate the integration of these in national policies in Vietnam. Through on-farm management interventions it was possible to reduce the prevalence and intensity of FZT infections in fish, hence making the fish safer to eat for consumers.FIBOZOPA is a good exampie of a One-Health approach to prevent and control an important food safety hazard in products from aquaculture.

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