DAO 45:183-189 (2001)  -  doi:10.3354/dao045183

Field testing of a vaccine against eel diseases caused by Vibrio vulnificus

Belén Fouz1, Maria Dolores Esteve-Gassent2, Rodolfo Barrera2, Jens Laurits Larsen3, Michael Engelbrecht Nielsen3, Carmen Amaro1,*

1Departamento de Microbiología y Ecología, Facultad de Biología, Universidad de Valencia, Burjassot 46100, Spain
2Valenciana de Acuicultura SA, Valencia 46530, Spain
3Section of Fish Diseases, Department of Veterinary Microbiology, KVL, 1870-C Frederiksberg, Denmark
*Corresponding author. E-mail:

ABSTRACT: The field results of a vaccination programme against Vibrio vulnificus serovar E (biotype 2) in a Spanish eel farm are reported. A total of 9.5 million glass eels were vaccinated from January 1998 to March 2000 by prolonged immersion followed by 2 subsequent reimmunisations after 12 to 14 and 24 to 28 d, respectively. The acquired protection and the immune response against serovar E were estimated over a period of 6 mo after vaccination. A similar vaccination schedule was conducted with elvers in a Danish eel farm. In this case, the acquired protection and the immune response against serovar E and the new eel-pathogenic serovars, recently described in Denmark, were evaluated over a short term. The overall results show that the vaccine against V. vulnificus serovar E induces a satisfactory protective immunity during the main growth period of eels (around 6 mo) with a relative percentage survival of 62 to 86% and protects them against the new eel-pathogenic serovars. Vaccination of eels by immersion seems to be the best strategy to prevent diseases caused by V. vulnificus.

KEY WORDS: Vibrio vulnificus serovar E · Vibrio vulnificus biotype 2 · Eel vaccines · Vibrio vaccines · Vaccination by prolonged immersion · Field vaccination. vibriosis

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