Optimization of efficacy of a live attenuatedFlavobacterium psychrophilumimmersion vaccine

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Abstract

This study was aimed at optimizing the efficacy of a recently developed live attenuated immersion vaccine (B.17-ILM) as a promising vaccine against bacterial coldwater disease (BCWD) caused by Flavobacterium psychrophilum in salmonids. Rainbow trout (RBT) fry were vaccinated by immersion, and different parameters affecting vaccination such as fish size, vaccine delivery time, dose, duration of protection, booster regimes and vaccine growth incubation time were optimized. Specific anti-F. psychrophilum immune response was determined by ELISA. Protective efficacy was determined by challenging with a virulent strain of F. psychrophilum (CSF-259–93) and calculating cumulative percent mortality (CPM) and relative percent survival (RPS). All vaccinated fish developed significantly higher levels of serum antibody titers by week 8 when compared to their respective controls. Immersion vaccination for 3, 6 and 30 min produced significant protection with comparable RPS values of 47%, 53% and 52%, respectively. This vaccine provided significant protection for fish as small as 0.5 g with an RPS of 55%; larger fish of 1 g and 2 g yielded slightly higher RPS values of 59% and 60%, respectively. Fish vaccinated with higher vaccine doses of ˜1010 and 108 colony forming units mL−1 (cfu ml−1) were strongly protected out to at least 24 weeks with RPS values up to 70%. Fish vaccinated with lower doses (˜106 and 105 cfu mL−1) had good protection out to 12 weeks, but RPS values dropped to 36% and 34%, respectively by 24 weeks. Vaccine efficacy was optimum when the primary vaccination was followed by a single booster (week 12 challenge RPS = 61%) rather than two boosters (week 12 challenge RPS = 48%). Vaccination without a booster resulted in a lower RPS (13%) indicating the necessity of a single booster vaccination to maximize efficacy. This study presents key findings that demonstrate the efficacy and commercial potential for this live attenuated BCWD vaccine.

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