Teleosts are able to raise a protective immune response, comprising both innate and adaptive elements, against various pathogens. This is the basis for a widespread use of vaccines, administered as injection or immersion, in the aquaculture industry. It has been described that repeated injection vaccination of fish raises a secondary immune response, consisting of rapid, accelerated and increased antibody reaction. This study reports how rainbow trout responds to repeated immersion vaccination against yersiniosis (ERM) caused by the bacterial pathogen Yersinia ruckeri. It was found that rainbow trout does not raise a classical secondary response following repeated immersion vaccination. Serum antibody titres were merely slightly increased even after three immunizations, using 30-s immersion into a bacterin consisting of formalin-inactivated Y. ruckeri (serotype O1, biotypes 1 and 2), performed over a 3-month period. The densities of IgM-positive lymphocytes in spleen of fish immunized three times were increased compared to control fish, but no general trend for an increase with the number of immunizations was noted. The lack of a classical secondary response following repeated immersion vaccination may partly be explained by limited uptake of antigen by immersion compared to injection.
- Yersinia ruckeri