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Diseases of Aquatic Organisms

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DAO 39:29-36 (1999)  -  doi:10.3354/dao039029

Evaluation of the protective immunogenicity of the N, P, M, NV and G proteins of infectious hematopoietic necrosis virus in rainbow trout Oncorhynchus mykiss using DNA vaccines

S. Corbeil1,2, S. E. LaPatra3, E. D. Anderson4, J. Jones3, B. Vincent3, Y.-L. Hsu5, G. Kurath2,*

1Department of Pathobiology, University of Washington, Box 357238, Seattle, Washington 98195-7238, USA
2Western Fisheries Research Center, 6505 NE, 65th St., Seattle, Washington 98115-5016, USA
3Clear Springs Foods Inc., Research Division, PO Box 712, Buhl, Idaho 83316, USA
4Department of Biochemistry, Microbiology and Molecular Biology, University of Maine, Orono, Maine 04469-5753, USA
5Institute of Zoology, Academia Sinica, Nankang 11529, Taipei, Taiwan, ROC
*Corresponding author. E-mail:

ABSTRACT: The protective immunogenicity of the nucleoprotein (N), phosphoprotein (P), matrix protein (M), non-virion protein (NV) and glycoprotein (G) of the rhabdovirus infectious hematopoietic necrosis virus (IHNV) was assessed in rainbow trout using DNA vaccine technology. DNA vaccines were produced by amplifying and cloning the viral genes in the plasmid pCDNA 3.1. The protective immunity elicited by each vaccine was evaluated through survival of immunized fry after challenge with live virus. Neutralizing antibody titers were also determined in vaccinated rainbow trout Oncorhynchus mykiss fry (mean weight 2 g) and 150 g sockeye salmon Oncorhynchus nerka. The serum from the 150 g fish was also used in passive immunization studies with naïve fry. Our results showed that neither the internal structural proteins (N, P and M) nor the NV protein of IHNV induced protective immunity in fry or neutralizing antibodies in fry and 150 g fish when expressed by a DNA vaccine construct. The G protein, however, did confer significant protection in fry up to 80 d post-immunization and induced protective neutralizing antibodies. We are currently investigating the role of different arms of the fish immune system that contribute to the high level of protection against IHNV seen in vaccinated fish.

KEY WORDS: Infectious hematopoietic necrosis virus · Rhabdovirus · DNA vaccines · Rainbow trout

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