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Vaccination of sex reversed hybrid tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus X O. aureus) with an inactivated Vibrio vulnificus vaccine

Shoemaker, Craig A., LaFrentz, Benjamin R., Phillip, Klesius H.
Biologicals 2011 v.39 pp. 424
Oreochromis aureus, Oreochromis niloticus, Vibrio vulnificus, bacterial infections, biotypes, disease models, fish culture, fish diseases, hybrids, inactivated vaccines, mineral oil, recirculating aquaculture systems, ribosomal RNA, vaccination
Vibrio vulnificus causes disease in economically important aquaculture raised fish and is an opportunistic human pathogen. This study reports on the isolation of V. vulnificus from diseased hybrid tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus O. aureus) cultured in a North American water reuse facility. Our objectives were to characterize the isolate using biochemical and molecular methods, develop a disease challenge model, and determine the ability of a formalin inactivated whole-cell vaccine to protect against V. vulnificus. The V. vulnificus isolate recovered was biotype 1, 16S rRNA type B, vcg type C, and vvhA type 2 and caused disease in tilapia held in static salt water (1.5 g/l sea salt). Fish vaccinated with the formalin inactivated whole-cell vaccine responded to vaccination with titers from vaccinated fish ranging from 32 to 64 and titers from non-vaccinated fish ranging from 4 to 8. In two trials, vaccinated tilapia exhibited relative percent survival (RPS) of 73 and 60% following homologous isolate challenge. In two additional trials, vaccinated tilapia exhibited RPS values of up to 88% following challenge with a heterologous isolate; the use of a mineral oil adjuvant enhanced protection. This vaccine may provide an effective means of preventing infections caused by biochemically and genetically diverse V. vulnificus.