Vaccination of European sea bass Dicentrarchus labrax with avirulent Mycobacterium marinum (iipA::kan mutant)

Shay Ravid-Peretz, Angelo Colorni, Galit Sharon, Michal Ucko

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Mycobacteriosis is a chronic progressive disease affecting teleost fishes all over the world. No vaccine is commercially available against its main etiological agent, Mycobacterium marinum. The mycobacterial gene responsible for invasion and intracellular persistence, iipA, is known to modulate M. marinum pathology. The innate and adaptive immune responses in sea bass (Dicentrarchus labrax) vaccinated with M. marinum iipA::kan mutant with (and without) the use of adjuvant, with (and without) a booster vaccination were monitored. The adjuvanted vaccine induced enhanced immune responses. TNF-α transcription levels were extremely high in spleen of the fish vaccinated with the addition of adjuvant in both fish vaccinated once and twice, followed by an IgM response highly specific for M. marinum. Also, histologically, granulomas started appearing in spleen and head-kidney tissues (but with no visible bacteria) within a month after vaccination, mainly with the adjuvanted vaccine. This was followed by reduction in pathology, as demonstrated by the lower number of granulomas (with visible bacteria), indicating that even heat-killed bacteria were able to elicit granulomatous formations. Adhesion of the internal organs and moderate pigmentation were observed in the perivisceral adipose tissue of nearly all vaccinated fish. Although the adjuvanted heat-killed avirulent iipA::kan mutant clearly induced a strong humoral and adaptive immune response, the booster treatment did not seem to have produced a significantly higher degree of protection from the disease compared to fish that received a single vaccination.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)317-327
Number of pages11
JournalFish and Shellfish Immunology
StatePublished - 1 Jul 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • Adjuvant
  • Dicentrarchus labrax
  • Mycobacteriosis
  • Mycobacterium marinum
  • Vaccine
  • iipA mutant

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Aquatic Science


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