Cross-immunity in Nile tilapia vaccinated with Streptococcus agalactiae and Streptococcus iniae vaccines.


Shandong Provincial Key Laboratory of Animal Biotechnology and Disease Control and Prevention & Shandong Provincial Engineering Technology Research Center of Animal Disease Control and Prevention, Shandong Agricultural University, Taian, 271018, PR China; Laboratory for Marine Fisheries Science and Food Production Processes, Qingdao National Laboratory for Marine Science and Technology, Yellow Sea Fisheries Research Institute, Chinese Academy of Fishery Sciences, Qingdao, 272000, PR China. Electronic address: [Email]


Streptococcus agalactiae and Streptococcus iniae are major bacterial pathogens of tilapia that can cause high mortality concomitant with large economic losses to aquaculture. Although development of vaccines using formalin-killed bacteria to control these diseases has been attempted, the mechanism of immunity against streptococcal infections and the cross-protective ability of these two bacteria remains unclear. To explore the immunological role of these vaccines, we compared the immune responses of tilapia after immunization with both vaccines and compared the relative percent survival (RPS) and cross-immunization protection of tilapia after separate infection with S. agalactiae and S. iniae. All results revealed that vaccinated fish had significantly higher (P < 0.05) levels of specific antibodies than control fish 14 days post secondary vaccination (PSV) and 7 days post challenge. In vaccinated fish, the mRNA expression of interleukin-8 (IL-8), interleukin-12 (IL-12), caspase-3 (C-3), tumour necrosis factor (TNF), and interferon (IFN) was significantly up regulated (P < 0.05) in the head kidney after immunized; similar results were found for IL-8, TNF and IFN in the posterior kidney, meanwhile the expression levels of C-3 and IFN were significantly increased (P < 0.05) in the spleen of vaccinated fish. Additionally, the levels of acid phosphatase (ACP), alkaline phosphatase (AKP), superoxide dismutase (SOD), and lysozyme (LZM) in vaccinated fish were improved at different degree when compared to the control fish. These results showed that vaccination with formalin-killed cells (FKCs) of either S. agalactiae or S. iniae conferred protection against infection by the corresponding pathogen in Nile tilapia, resulting in RPS values of 92.3% and 91.7%, respectively. Furthermore, cross-protection was observed, as the S. agalactiae FKC vaccine protected fish from S. iniae infection, and vice versa. These results suggested that the S. agalactiae and S. iniae FKC vaccines can induce immune responses and generate excellent protective effects in Nile tilapia.


Cross-immunity,Cytokines,Humoural immunity,Innate immune,Vaccine,

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