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Diseases of Aquatic Organisms

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DAO 72:269-273 (2006)  -  doi:10.3354/dao072269

Temperature-dependent protection against Ichthyophthirius multifiliis following immunisation of rainbow trout using live theronts

Mojtaba Alishahi, Kurt Buchmann*

Department of Veterinary Pathobiology, Section of Fish Diseases, Royal Veterinary and Agricultural University, Stigbøjlen 7, 1870 Frederiksberg C, Denmark
*Corresponding author. Email:

ABSTRACT: Rainbow trout Oncorhynchus mykiss Walbaum, 1792 fingerlings were vaccinated by intraperitoneal (i.p.) injection using live theronts of the skin parasitic ciliate Ichthyophthirius multifiliis Fouquet, 1876 at 2 temperatures (12 and 20°C), and protection against challenge infections was subsequently evaluated by bath exposure to live theronts. Vaccination conferred a relative protection (evaluated as the decrease in the number of established theronts) at 12°C and almost complete immunity at 20°C. Significantly increased immobilisation titers (using plasma immobilisation of live theronts) were found in immunised fish at Week 2 and 4 post-vaccination. Lysozyme activity of plasma from vaccinated fish increased from Week 1 to 4. Both immobilisation titers and lysozyme activity were significantly higher at 20°C. This study demonstrated that live theronts are good candidates for an antigen source for development of effective vaccines against white spot disease in this fish host, and further indicated that the protection of rainbow trout against I. multifiliis infection is highly temperature dependent and may be associated with both adaptive and innate response mechanisms.

KEY WORDS: Immune response · Vaccination · Fish · Parasites

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