A putative serine protease, SpSsp1, from Saprolegnia parasitica is recognised by sera of rainbow trout, Oncorhynchus mykiss

Kirsty L. Minor, Victoria L. Anderson, Katie S. Davis, Albert H. Van Den Berg, James S. Christie, Lars Loebach, Ali Reza Faruk, Stephan Wawra, Chris J. Secombes, Pieter Van West*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)
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Saprolegniosis, the disease caused by Saprolegnia sp., results in considerable economic losses in aquaculture. Current control methods are inadequate, as they are either largely ineffective or present environmental and fish health concerns. Vaccination of fish presents an attractive alternative to these control methods. Therefore we set out to identify suitable antigens that could help generate a fish vaccine against Saprolegnia parasitica. Unexpectedly, antibodies against S. parasitica were found in serum from healthy rainbow trout, Oncorhynchus mykiss. The antibodies detected a single band in secreted proteins that were run on a one-dimensional SDS-polyacrylamide gel, which corresponded to two protein spots on a two-dimensional gel. The proteins were analysed by liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry. Mascot and bioinformatic analysis resulted in the identification of a single secreted protein, SpSsp1, of 481 amino acid residues, containing a subtilisin domain. Expression analysis demonstrated that SpSsp1 is highly expressed in all tested mycelial stages of S. parasitica. Investigation of other non-infected trout from several fish farms in the United Kingdom showed similar activity in their sera towards SpSsp1. Several fish that had no visible saprolegniosis showed an antibody response towards SpSsp1 suggesting that SpSsp1 might be a useful candidate for future vaccination trial experiments. (C) 2014 The British Mycological Society. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)630-639
Number of pages10
JournalFungal Biology
Issue number7
Early online date30 Apr 2014
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2014


  • Oncorhynchus mykiss
  • Pathogenicity factor
  • Saprolegnia parasitica
  • Serine protease
  • salmo-trutta
  • brown trout
  • Atlantic salmon
  • malachite green
  • gene-expression
  • fish
  • pathogenicity
  • mortality
  • database
  • water


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