Effectiveness of formalin-killed vaccines containing CpG oligodeoxynucleotide 1668 adjuvants againstVibrio harveyiin orange-spotted grouper

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Abstract

Vibrio harveyi is a major bacterial pathogen that causes serious vibriosis in cultured groupers, leading to massive deaths. In this study, we evaluated the immune responses and protective efficacy of vaccines containing V. harveyi formalin-killed cells (FKC) formulated with CpG ODN 1668-enriched plasmids (p30CpG and p60CpG) in the orange-spotted grouper. Results indicated that antibody titres were remarkably increased in vaccinated fish 2 weeks post-immunisation. Expression level of major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class II, CD 8, and toll-like receptor 9 was significantly upregulated in the spleen of fish immunised with CpG ODN 1668-adjuvanted vaccines, as recorded at 6 weeks after immunisation. Additionally, the FKC + p60CpG-vaccinated fish displayed greater mRNA levels of MHC I and tumor necrosis factor-alpha. Of note, the relative percent survival after V. harveyi challenge was significantly higher in FKC + p60CpG-vaccinated fish (96.2%) than in FKC + p30CpG-vaccinated (79.8%) and FKC-vaccinated fish (59.9%). These results demonstrate that the FKC + CpG ODN 1668 vaccines are promising candidates that could enhance both innate and adaptive immune responses, conferred remarkable protection, and CpG ODN 1668 is a potential adjuvant for vaccines against V. harveyi.

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