Distinct response of immune gene expression in peripheral blood leucocytes modulated by bacterin vaccine candidates in rainbow trout Oncorhynchus mykiss : A potential in vitro screening and batch testing system for vaccine development in aquaculture

Ahmed Attaya, Yousheng Jiang, Christopher J. Secombes, Tiehui Wang (Corresponding Author)

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Citations (Scopus)


Fish aquaculture is the world's fastest growing food production industry and infectious diseases are a major limiting factor. Vaccination is the most appropriate method for controlling infectious diseases and a key reason for the success of salmonid cultivation and has reduced the use of antibiotics. The development of fish vaccines requires the use of a great number of experimental animals that are challenged with virulent pathogens. In vitro cell culture systems have the potential to replace in vivo pathogen exposure for initial screening and testing of novel vaccine candidates/preparations, and for batch potency and safety tests. PBL contain major immune cells that enable the detection of both innate and adaptive immune responses in vitro. Fish PBL can be easily prepared using a hypotonic method and is the only way to obtain large numbers of immune cells non-lethally. Distinct gene expression profiles of innate and adaptive immunity have been observed between bacterins prepared from different bacterial species, as well as from different strains or culturing conditions of the same bacterial species. Distinct immune pathways are activated by pathogens or vaccines in vivo that can be detected in PBL in vitro. Immune gene expression in PBL after stimulation with vaccine candidates may shed light on the immune pathways involved that lead to vaccine-mediated protection. This study suggests that PBL are a suitable platform for initial screening of vaccine candidates, for evaluation of vaccine-induced immune responses, and a cheap alternative for potency testing to reduce animal use in aquaculture vaccine development.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)631-640
Number of pages10
JournalFish & Shellfish Immunology
Early online date1 Aug 2019
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2019



  • Rainbow trout Oncorhynchus mykiss
  • Peripheral blood leucocytes
  • Bacterin
  • Vaccine
  • Cytokine
  • Gene expression
  • Innate immunity
  • Adaptive immunity
  • Aeromonas salmonicida
  • Yersinia ruckeri

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