Immunological response of the Sub-Antarctic Notothenioid fishEleginops maclovinusinjected with two strains ofPiscirickettsia salmonis

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Eleginops maclovinus is an endemic fish to Chile that lives in proximity to salmonid culture centers, feeding off of uneaten pellet and salmonid feces. Occurring in the natural environment, this interaction between native and farmed fish could result in the horizontal transmission of pathogens affecting the aquaculture industry. The aim of this study was to evaluate the innate and adaptive immune responses of E. maclovinus challenged with P. salmonis. Treatment injections (in duplicate) were as follows: control (100 μL of culture medium), wild type LF-89 strain (100 μL, 1 × 108 live bacteria), and antibiotic resistant strain Austral-005 (100 μL, 1 × 108 live bacteria). The fish were sampled at various time-points during the 35-day experimental period. The gene expression of TLRs (1, 5, and 8), NLRCs (3 and 5), C3, IL-1β, MHCII, and IgMs were significantly modulated during the experimental period in both the spleen and gut (excepting TLR1 and TLR8 spleen expressions), with tissue-specific expression profiles and punctual differences between the injected strains. Anti-P. salmonis antibodies increased in E. maclovinus serum from day 14–28 for the LF-89 strain and from day 14–35 for the Austral-005 strain. These results suggest temporal activation of the innate and adaptive immune responses in E. maclovinus tissues when injected by distinct P. salmonis strains. The Austral-005 strain did not always cause the greatest increases/decreases in the number of transcripts, so the magnitude of the observed immune response (mRNA) may not be related to antibiotic resistance. This is the first immunological study to relate a pathogen widely studied in salmonids with a native fish.

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