Interaction of CD28 with CD80 or CD86 molecules provides a costimulatory signals required in T cell activation. In this study, we cloned and analyzed a CD28 gene (On-CD28) and a CD80/86 gene (On-CD80/86) from Nile tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus). Sequence analysis revealed the typical characteristics of On-CD28 protein; for instance, the proline-based motif (117TYPPPL122) is essential in binding of CD28 to CD80/86 ligands. Moreover, an extracellular Ig domain was found in On-CD80/86; this domain is responsible in binding of CD28 to CD80/86 receptors. Subcellular localization analysis showed that both On-CD28 and On-CD80/86 were distributed predominantly in the cytomembrane. Yeast two-hybrid assay showed that On-CD28 directly interacted with On-CD80/86. On-CD28 and On-CD80/86 transcripts were detected in all the examined tissues of healthy Nile tilapia, and the highest expression levels of On-CD28 and On-CD80/86 were detected in the brain and heart, respectively. Following a bacterial challenge using Streptococcus agalactiae in vivo, On-CD28 and On-CD80/86 were upregulated in head kidney, spleen, intestines, and brain. However, they showed different expression profiles in response to stimulation with inactivated S. agalactiae in vitro. These findings indicated that the interaction of On-CD28 with On-CD80/86 provides a costimulatory signals that possibly play an important role in T cell activation during S. agalactiae infection.