Zhang, Z., Wu, H., Xiao, J., Wang, Q., Liu, Q., and Zhang, Y. (2013) Immune responses evoked by infection with Vibrio anguillarum in zebrafish bath-vaccinated with a live attenuated strain. Veterinary Immunology and Immunopathology. 154(3-4):138-144.
Live attenuated vaccines are a promising application to control bacterial fish diseases. A live attenuated Vibrio anguillarum vaccine candidate was established in our laboratory to protect fish against vibriosis. To elucidate the mechanism of immunoprotection, it is necessary to compare the different immune responses to infection between vaccinated and non-vaccinated fish. In this study, the expression levels of pathogen-specific antibodies and immune-related genes upon challenge at 28 days post-vaccination were compared between vaccinated and non-vaccinated zebrafish. In the results, the specific antibody levels against virulent V. anguillarum in the vaccinated group did not rise significantly following infection, which suggested that high-affinity antibodies were induced by the vaccine. In the non-vaccinated group, the specific IgM response was triggered at 3 days post-infection and showed a delayed antibody response. Meanwhile, the transcription levels of the genes encoding the pro-inflammatory cytokine IL-1β and the chemokine IL-8 were more highly up-regulated in non-vaccinated fish than in vaccinated fish. This suggests that the overwhelming inflammatory response trigged by infection in non-vaccinated zebrafish was controlled in vaccinated zebrafish. Interestingly, the expression levels of adaptive immune-related genes were increased in vaccinated fish after challenge, compared to the non-vaccinated fish. These results suggest that inoculation with the live attenuated vaccine triggered protection by curbing inflammation and strengthening the adaptive immune response.