Omics in fish mucosal immunity

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The mucosal immune system of fish is a complex network of immune cells and molecules that are constantly surveilling the environment and protecting the host from infection. A number of “omics” tools are now available and utilized to understand the complexity of mucosal immune systems in non-traditional animal models. This review summarizes recent advances in the implementation of “omics” tools pertaining to the four mucosa-associated lymphoid tissues in teleosts. Genomics, transcriptomics, proteomics, and “omics” in microbiome research require interdisciplinary collaboration and careful experimental design. The data-rich datasets generated are proving really useful at discovering new innate immune players in fish mucosal secretions, identifying novel markers of specific mucosal immune responses, unraveling the diversity of the B and T cell repertoires and characterizing the diversity of the microbial communities present in teleost mucosal surfaces. Bioinformatics, data analysis and storage platforms should be developed to facilitate rapid processing of large datasets, especially when mammalian tools such as bioinformatics analysis software are not available in fishes.

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