Subunit vaccine candidates against Aeromonas salmonicida in rainbow trout Oncorhynchus mykiss

Moonika Haahr Marana, Louise von Gersdorff Jørgensen, Jakob Skov, Jiwan Kumar Chettri, Andreas Holm Mattsson, Inger Dalsgaard, Per Walter Kania, Kurt Buchmann

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    Aeromonas salmonicida subsp. salmonicida is the etiological agent of furunculosis and a major fish health problem in salmonid aquaculture worldwide. Injection vaccination with commercial mineral oil-adjuvanted bacterin vaccines has been partly successful in preventing the disease but in Danish rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss, Walbaum) aquaculture furunculosis outbreaks still occur. In this study we tested the efficacy of experimental subunit vaccines against A. salmonicida infection in rainbow trout. We utilized in silico screening of the proteome of A. salmonicida subsp. salmonicida strain A449 and identified potential protective protein antigens that were tested by in vivo challenge trial. A total of 14 proteins were recombinantly expressed in Escherichia coli and prepared in 3 different subunit vaccine combinations to immunize 3 groups of rainbow trout by intraperitoneal (i.p.) injection. The fish were exposed to virulent A. salmonicida 7 weeks after immunization. To assess the efficacy of the subunit vaccines we evaluated the immune response in fish after immunization and challenge infection by measuring the antibody levels and monitoring the survival of fish in different groups. The survival of fish at 3 weeks after challenge infection showed that all 3 groups of fish immunized with 3 different protein combinations exhibited significantly lower mortalities (17-30%) compared to the control groups (48% and 56%). The ELISA results revealed significantly elevated antibody levels in fish against several protein antigens, which in some cases were positively correlated to the survival.
    Original languageEnglish
    Article numbere0171944
    JournalPLOS ONE
    Issue number2
    Number of pages15
    Publication statusPublished - 2017


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