Efficacy of recombinant protein vaccines for protection againstNocardia seriolaeinfection in the largemouth bassMicropterus salmoides

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A reverse vaccinology-based survey of potent antigens associated with fish nocardiosis was conducted using the largemouth bass, Micropterus salmoides, with an aim to develop subunit vaccines. The antigens selected from the virulent strain Nocardia seriolae 961113 include the gene products of NGL2579 (GAPDH), NGL5701 (MMP), NGL4377 (OCTase), NGL4486 (ABC transporter), NGL3372 (LLE), NGL3388 (GHf10), NGL6627 (Antigen-85), NGL6696 (Esterase), and NGL6936 (CBP). These antigens were heterologously expressed in E. coli BL21 (DE3) for recombinant protein production. Then fish were vaccinated was these antigens, boosted at 2 weeks, and challenged with N. seriolae at 6 weeks after vaccination. The relative protection survival assay revealed high and significant protection efficacies of 94.45, 50.00, and 44.45 in fish that received the NGL3388 (GHf10), NGL6936 (CBP), and NGL3372 (LLE) vaccines, respectively. There were no apparent relationships or differences in tissue lesions among the administered vaccines. The serum titers against the bacterial preparations were higher for all vaccinated groups than for the control group at 4 weeks after immunization. However, no significant difference in serum titer was found at 6 weeks after immunization. The results of this study demonstrate that subunit vaccines against fish nocardiosis have differential effects, but are highly promising for nocardial prophylaxis.

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