Membrane vesicles fromPiscirickettsia salmonisinduce protective immunity and reduce development of salmonid rickettsial septicemia in an adult zebrafish model

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Infections caused by the facultative intracellular bacterial pathogen Piscirickettsia salmonis remains an unsolved problem for the aquaculture as no efficient treatments have been developed. As a result, substantial amounts of antibiotic have been used to limit salmonid rickettsial septicemia (SRS) disease outbreaks. The antibiotic usage has not reduced the occurrence, but lead to an increase in resistant strains, underlining the need for new treatment strategies. P. salmonis produce membrane vesicles (MVs); small spherical structures know to contain a variety of bacterial components, including proteins, lipopolysaccharides (LPS), DNA and RNA. MVs mimics’ in many aspects their mother cell, and has been reported as alternative vaccine candidates. Here, MVs from P. salmonis was isolated and evaluated as a vaccine candidate against SRS in an adult zebrafish infection model. When zebrafish was immunized with MVs they were protected from subsequent challenge with a lethal dose of P. salmonis. Histological analysis showed a reduced bacterial load upon challenge in the MV immunized group, and the mRNA expression levels of several immune related genes altered, including mpeg1.1, tnfα, il1b, il10 and il6. The MVs induced the secretion of IgM upon immunization, indicating an immunogenic effect of the vesicles. Taken together, the data demonstrate a vaccine potential of MVs against P. salmonis.HighlightsMVs protect zebrafish against an acute dose of P. salmonis.MVs induced the gene expression of mpeg1.1, tnfα, il1b, il10 and il6.MV immunized fish displayed a reduced detection of P. salmonis in tissue.

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