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Diseases of Aquatic Organisms

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DAO 43:91-101 (2000)  -  doi:10.3354/dao043091

Effectiveness of different vaccine formulations against vibriosis caused by Vibrio vulnificus serovar E (biotype 2) in European eels Anguilla anguilla

Rosa Collado, Belén Fouz, Eva Sanjuán, Carmen Amaro*

Departamento de Microbiología y Ecología, Facultad de Biología, Universidad de Valencia, Burjassot 46100, Spain
*Corresponding author. E-mail:

ABSTRACT: Vibriosis due to Vibrio vulnificus serovar E (biotype 2) is one of the main causes of mortality in European eels cultured in Europe. The main objective of this study was to develop a vaccine and a vaccination procedure against this pathogen. With this aim, we tested several vaccine formulations (inactivated whole-cells with and without toxoids‹inactivated extracellular products‹from capsulated and uncapsulated strains, attenuated live vaccines and purified lipopolysaccharide [LPS]) on eels maintained under controlled laboratory conditions using different delivery routes (injection and immersion). To study the immune response we estimated antibody titers and bactericidal/bacteriostatic activity in mucus and serum. To evaluate protection, we calculated the relative percent survival (RPS) after intraperitoneal (i.p.) injection and bath challenge of the pathogen. The overall results indicate that: (1) capsular antigens seem to be essential for protective immunization; (2) vaccines confer the highest protection when administered by i.p. injection; (3) booster is needed to achieve good protection by immersion; (4) enriching the vaccine with toxoids enhances protection to optimal levels (RPS values around 70 to 100%, depending on the delivery route); and (5) the protective effect in serum and mucus depends on the route of administration and seems to be related to the production of specific antibodies.

KEY WORDS: Vibrio vulnificus serovar E · Vibrio vulnificus biotype 2 · Eel vaccines · Vibrio vaccines · Vaccination by injection · Vaccination by prolonged immersion

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