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Keywords:

  • Flavobacterium psychrophilum ;
  • vaccination;
  • gliding motility;
  • formalin

Abstract

The Flavobacterium psychrophilum gliding motility N (GldN) protein was investigated to determine its ability to elicit antibody responses and provide protective immunity in rainbow trout Oncorhynchus mykiss (Walbaum). GldN was PCR-amplified, cloned into pET102/D-TOPO, and expressed in Escherichia coli. Bacteria expressing recombinant GldN (rGldN) were formalin-inactivated and injected intraperitoneally (i.p.) into rainbow trout with Freund's complete adjuvant (FCA) in four separate studies that used two different immunization protocols followed by challenge evaluations. Fish injected with E. coli only in FCA served as the control. Antibody responses to F. psychrophilum whole-cell lysates measured by ELISA were low in all four studies. Protection against F. psychrophilum challenge was observed in the first study, but not in the three following studies. The discrepancies in results obtained in the later studies are unclear but may relate to formalin treatment of the antigen preparations. Overall, it appeared that rGldN delivered i.p. as a crude formalin-killed preparation is not a consistent vaccine candidate, and more work is required. Additionally, this study illustrates the importance of conducting multiple in vivo evaluations on potential vaccine(s) before any conclusions are drawn.