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Oral and parenteral vaccines against Flavobacterium columnare: evaluation of humoral immune response by ELISA and in vivo efficiency in Nile tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus)

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Abstract

Flavobacterium columnare is a bacterial pathogen for many freshwater fish species. It is responsible for outbreaks in fish farms worldwide, causing high mortality rates. Fish vaccination is a potential approach for prevention and control of disease, with oral vaccines suitable for fish because of their easier application, low cost and minimum stress to fish. Alginate microparticles have been widely used as controlled release systems, including for fish vaccination. The aim of this study was to evaluate the capacity of oral and parenteral vaccines against F. columnare to induce a humoral response, as well as the in vivo efficiency in Nile tilapia fingerlings. The fingerlings were immunized with bacterin by intraperitoneal (i.p.), intramuscular (i.m.), oral and immersion routes, as well as orally with alginate microparticles containing formalin-killed bacteria. A sandwich ELISA was developed to detect specific antibodies against F. columnare. The animals were challenged with pathogenic strain BZ-1 to determine the relative percentage of survival. A significant humoral response was induced by bacterin administered by i.p. and i.m. routes (P < 0.05). However, none of the vaccine preparations were effective in protecting fish against F. columnare infection (P < 0.05). In spite of high antibody levels, there was no relation between immunoglobulin titers and resistance to columnaris for Nile tilapia fingerlings. These data suggest that use of serological analysis as the only method to determine vaccine efficiency against F. columnare infection in Nile tilapia can lead to imprecise results for the usefulness of these products in vivo.

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Acknowledgments

This work was supported by Grant FAPEMIG CVZ 2717/06. We would like to thank CAPES and CNPq for the fellowships and Dircéia A. Custódio for technical assistance.

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Correspondence to H. C. P. Figueiredo.

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Leal, C.A.G., Carvalho-Castro, G.A., Sacchetin, P.S.C. et al. Oral and parenteral vaccines against Flavobacterium columnare: evaluation of humoral immune response by ELISA and in vivo efficiency in Nile tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus). Aquacult Int 18, 657–666 (2010). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10499-009-9287-x

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10499-009-9287-x

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