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Intramuscular administration of a DNA vaccine encoding OmpK antigen induces humoral and cellular immune responses in flounder (Paralichthys olivaceus) and improves protection against Vibrio anguillarum

Hongsen Xu, Jing Xing, Xiaoqian Tang, Xiuzhen Sheng, Wenbin Zhan
Fish & shellfish immunology 2019 v.86 pp. 618-626
Paralichthys olivaceus, Vibrio anguillarum, antibodies, bacterial antigens, cell-mediated immunity, flounder, genes, immunoglobulin M, intramuscular injection, lymphocytes, models, muscles, outer membrane proteins, protective effect, recombinant vaccines, subunit vaccines, transcription (genetics), translation (genetics), vaccination
Outer membrane protein K (OmpK) is an immunogenic protein that could act as subunit vaccine candidate for Vibrio anguillarum. In this study, a DNA vaccine encoding the OmpK gene of V. anguillarum was constructed and confirmed to express OmpK in vitro and in vivo. To evaluate the potential of pcDNA3.1-OmpK (pOmpK) as vaccine candidate, the humoral and cellular immune responses, and protective effects were analyzed in flounder model. The results showed that the transcription and translation of OmpK gene occurred in both transfected hirame natural embryo (HINAE) cells and injected fish muscles, indicating the functionality of pOmpK to express OmpK. Fish immunized with pOmpK showed significant increase of surface IgM positive (sIgM+), CD4-1+, CD4-2+ lymphocytes and production of specific anti-V. anguillarum or anti-rOmpK antibodies, which indicate the activation of humoral and cellular immune responses after vaccination. Moreover, a relative percent survival (RPS) rate of 50.00% against V. anguillarum infection was obtained for flounder immunized with pOmpK. In conclusion, this study indicates that pOmpK is able to induce humoral and cellular immune responses and can be used as a DNA vaccine candidate.