CEU Biology Alumna Develops Diagnostic Kit on Crustacean Virus
15 February 2022
Centro Escolar University Biology alumna Dr. Mary Beth Maningas with her team developed a testing kit to prevent a highly contagious viral infection among crustaceans called WSSV (White Spot Syndrome Virus) and was already granted patent.
“This is the first attempt to penetrate the industry armed with a technology developed by local investors. Other ASEAN countries have developed their own technology, but we do not want to rely on their technologies forever. At least 22 shrimp farm operators all over the country are now capable of doing on-site testing and implementing good aquaculture practices in farm management,” Dr. Maningas said.
In 2010, fishponds in the provinces of Cebu, Bulacan, and Zamboanga del Sur were affected by the WSSV. In time for the spread of the virus in the country, Dr. Maningas returned home from Japan as a fresh doctoral graduate of Applied Marine Biosciences at the Tokyo University. She then visited the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) and she learned that WSSV is on top of BFAR’s list of current challenges.
With this, she established the Laboratory of Aquatic Molecular Biology and Biotechnology (LAMBB) at the University of Santo Tomas (UST) and led her team in the development of the testing kit.
Dr. Mary Beth Maningas obtained her degree Bachelor of Science in Biology in 1990 and is presently a professor at the Department of Biological Sciences, University of Santo Tomas. She was also named one of the Faces of Biotechnology in 2022.
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