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Enhanced efficacy of an attenuated Flavobacterium psychrophilum strain cultured under iron-limited conditions

Amy Long, Tyson R. Fehringer, Marissa A. Swain, Benjamin R. LaFrentz, Douglas R. Call, Kenneth D. Cain
Fish & shellfish immunology 2013 v.35 no.5 pp. 1477-1482
Flavobacterium psychrophilum, Oncorhynchus kisutch, Oncorhynchus mykiss, bacterial infections, cell culture, fish, fish diseases, iron, live vaccines, mortality, nutrient availability, nutrient deficiencies, vaccination
An attenuated strain of Flavobacterium psychrophilum (CSF259-93B.17) has shown potential as a vaccine for prevention of bacterial coldwater disease (BCWD) in rainbow trout, Oncorhynchus mykiss (Walbaum). Because BCWD outbreaks can result in high mortality in other salmonid species, specifically coho salmon, Oncorhynchus kisutch (Walbaum), the live-attenuated strain was tested as a vaccine in this species. Additionally, we hypothesized that culture of the vaccine strain under iron-limited conditions would lead to improved protection against BCWD. To test this hypothesis, coho salmon were either injection or immersion immunized with CSF259-93B.17 cultured in iron-replete or iron-limited medium. Resultant antibody titers were low and not significantly different between the two treatments regardless of vaccine delivery method (P > 0.05). Following injection challenge with a virulent F. psychrophilum strain, mortality for injection vaccinated fish was significantly reduced compared to the control but did not differ by treatment (P > 0.05). Relative percent survival (RPS) was high in both treatments (90% in iron-replete, 98% in iron-limited medium). Fish immunized by immersion with CSF259-93B.17 grown in iron-replete medium exhibited lower mortality (29.3%; RPS 46%) when compared to mock immunized fish, but this was not significant. However, mortality was significantly lower in fish immunized with CSF259-93B.17 grown in iron-limited medium (14.7%; RPS 73%) when compared to mock immunized fish. The results demonstrate that the live-attenuated F. psychrophilum strain can confer protection to coho salmon and vaccine efficacy is enhanced by culturing the strain under iron-limited conditions.