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The ability of rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) to respond successfully to infection by viral hemorrhagic septicaemia virus (VHSV) is expected to involve a large number of biochemical processes. We hypothesized that this would be reflected at the gene expression level in infected fish, and we tested it by examining gene expression levels in the head kidney of trout at a genome-wide scale with a 16K cDNA microarray for salmonids. Expression levels were recorded during 16 days following bath challenge. The challenge experiment included a relatively low susceptibility (32% survival following challenge) and a relatively high susceptibility (18% survival following challenge) trout family that were both split into a group exposed to virus and a non-exposed control group. In total, 939 genes were differentially expressed between infected and non-infected fish (FDR p = 0.05). Five groups of Gene Ontology categories were involved in immune-related processes and over-represented in infected fish: (i) stress and defense response, (ii) NFkappaB signal transduction, (iii) response to non-self, (iv) antigen processing and presentation, and (v) proteasome complexes. The first four categories were also over-represented among the 642 differentially expressed genes in the low-susceptibility trout family but not among the 556 differentially expressed genes in the high-susceptibility trout family. Expression profiles for most immune genes discussed showed increased transcription from day 3 post-challenge. The results suggest that the innate immune system may play an important role in the successful response to VHSV in rainbow trout. In addition, the results indicate that a superior regulation of the transcription of several key innate immune-related genes contribute to the increased survival in resistant fish. (C) 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
JournalMolecular Immunology
Issue number8
Pages (from-to)1046-1058
StatePublished - 2011
CitationsWeb of Science® Times Cited: 10


  • VHSV, Salmonid, Host-pathogen interaction, Gene expression profile, Immune response, Disease resistance
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