ASBTIA: Optimising the use of praziquantel to manage blood fluke infections in commercially ranched SBT

Project Number:



SARDI Food Safety and Innovation

Principal Investigator:

Marty Deveney

Project Status:


FRDC Expenditure:



Adoption, Environment, Industry


The Australian Southern Bluefin Tuna Industry Association (ASBTIA) aims to obtain a Minor Use Permit (MUP) for praziquantel (PZQ) to treat blood fluke (Cardicola forsteri) infections in Southern bluefin tuna (SBT). Treatments to date have been undertaken under ministerial approvals pursuant to Regulation 11 of the Aquaculture Regulations 2005 (SA). The Department of Primary Industries and Regions (PIRSA) Fisheries and Aquaculture Division has indicated however, that Regulation 11 and off-label prescription is not appropriate for use of veterinary medicines used in large volumes and discharged to the marine environment. Approvals will not be continued indefinitely unless ASBTIA works towards obtaining a permit or product registration issued by the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA). Without a ministerial approval, permit or product registration, it would be illegal to use PZQ to treat SBT for blood fluke infections.


1. Develop methods to quantify Cardicola forsteri and Cardicola orientalis infections (year 1)

2. In vitro study to show equivalent efficacy of praziquantel as a treatment for Cardicola forsteri and Cardicola orientalis infections (year 1)

3. Determine minimum optimum dose to treat Cardicola spp. (year 2)

4. Determine safety margin / display target animal safety (year 2)

5. Determine ANZECC-compliant environmental trigger value and model environmental release (year 2)

6. Dose optimisation field study (year 2)

7. Develop toxicology database (year 3)

8. Determine withholding period from residue studies (year 3)

9. Collate occupational health and safety data (year 3)