Evaluation of DNA vaccination of spotted sand bass (Paralabrax maculatofasciatus) with two major outer-membrane protein-encoding genes from Aeromonas veronii

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Genes encoding two major outer membrane proteins (OMPs) of the bacterial pathogen Aeromonas veronii, Omp38 and Omp48, were used to construct DNA vaccines. The protective effect of such vaccines against motile aeromonad septicaemia was evaluated in spotted sand bass (Paralabrax maculatofasciatus), an endemic species of the Mexican Northwest Pacific coast and a potential resource for the aquaculture industry. Weak protein expression, as determined by immunoblotting, was observed after transfection of eukaryotic cells with the DNA vaccines. Fish immunized with a single intramuscular injection of 20 μg of the omp38 and omp48 DNA vaccines showed slightly, but significantly elevated serum antibody levels 4 and 6 weeks after vaccination, compared to fish vaccinated with the control plasmid pcDNA3.1. Spotted sand bass vaccinated with the omp38 and omp48 DNA vaccines and challenged with A. veronii by intraperitoneal route recorded a relative percent survival (RPS) between 50 and 60%. Histopathological signs of motile aeromonad septicaemia were observed in around 40% of omp38 and omp48-vaccinated fish and 80% of pcDNA3.1-vaccinated control fish. The results indicate that P. maculatofasciatus vaccinated with a single dose of DNA plasmids encoding the major OMPs from A. veronii shows partial protection against infection and mortality by A. veronii experimental infection. © 2005 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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Fish and Shellfish Immunology