Oral vaccination of fish: Lessons from humans and veterinary species

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Abstract

The limited number of oral vaccines currently approved for use in humans and veterinary species clearly illustrates that development of efficacious and safe oral vaccines has been a challenge not only for fish immunologists. The insufficient efficacy of oral vaccines is partly due to antigen breakdown in the harsh gastric environment, but also to the high tolerogenic gut environment and to inadequate vaccine design. In this review we discuss current approaches used to develop oral vaccines for mass vaccination of farmed fish species. Furthermore, using various examples from the human and veterinary vaccine development, we propose additional approaches to fish vaccine design also considering recent advances in fish mucosal immunology and novel molecular tools. Finally, we discuss the pros and cons of using the zebrafish as a pre-screening animal model to potentially speed up vaccine design and testing for aquaculture fish species.

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