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APHIS Releasing Evaluation of Virulent Aeromonas Hydrophila in Farmed Catfish

photo of catfish in water

Contact:
APHISpress@usda.gov

WASHINGTON, December 15, 2021 -- The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) has prepared an evaluation of potential entry and exposure pathways of virulent Aeromonas hydrophila (vAh) in the United States. This pathogen is known to affect farm-raised catfish, causing losses to producers from mortality and increased expense of treatment and changes to production practices.

APHIS performed this assessment in response to concerns raised by representatives of the U.S. catfish industry to address the potential risk of vAh introduction to catfish farms via imported live food fish, raw food fish, and consumable fish food products.

The assessment found that while some imports may serve as pathways of entry for vAh into the United States, they are unlikely to result in pathogen exposure to the commercial catfish industry. The most likely exposure pathways identified in this assessment include domestic movement of catfish, contaminated water, wildlife and birds, and fomites.

A copy of the assessment can be found on the APHIS website at:
https://www.aphis.usda.gov/animal_health/animal_dis_spec/aquaculture/downloads/vah-potential-pathways-farmed-catfish.pdf




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