Transcription of immune related genes inSolea senegalensisvaccinated againstPhotobacterium damselaesubsp.piscicida. Identification of surrogates of protection

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Solea senegalensis is a flatfish with a great potential for aquaculture, but infectious diseases restrict its production, being this fish species highly susceptible to Photobacterium damselae subsp. piscicida (Phdp) infections. A better understanding of the mechanisms related to fish immune response is crucial for the development of effective approaches in disease management. In the present work, transcriptional changes of immune related genes have been evaluated in farmed S. senegalensis specimens vaccinated against Phdp by intraperitoneal injection (IP) and immersion (IM). IP fish showed higher antibody levels and increased transcription of genes encoding lysozyme C1, complement factors involved in the classical pathway and components involved in the opsonization and the limitation of free iron availability, all of them facilitating the faster elimination of the pathogen and promoting higher RPS after the infection with Phdp. The results of this study seem to support a different intensity of the specimens immune response in the head kidney. Analysis of the immune response in 15 day post-challenged fish showed up-regulation of genes involved in all stages of S. senegalensis immune response, but especially those genes encoding proteins related to the innate response such as complement, lysozyme and iron homeostasis in the head kidney. On the other hand, liver transcription was higher for genes related to inflammation, apoptosis and cell mediated cytotoxicity (CMC). Furthermore, comparison of the differential response of S. senegalensis genes in vaccinated and unvaccinated fish to Phdp infection allowed the identification of a potential biosignature, consisting in 10 genes, as a surrogate of protection and therefore, as indicator of vaccine success against fotobacteriosis after IP vaccination. These results provide important insights into the S. senegalensis protection against Phdp induced by vaccination.

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