Identification and screening of effective protective antigens for channel catfish against Streptococcus iniae.

PMID 28415641


Vaccination is a potential approach for prevention and control of disease in fish. The use of genetically engineered vaccines is an effective method and a green intervention to control bacterial infection in aquaculture. However, efforts to develop these vaccines are limited by the lack of conserved protective antigens. In this study, three candidate immunogens (Srr, NeuA, and Hsp) of the pathogenic Streptococcus iniae strain DGX07 isolated from diseased channel catfish were identified and analyzed. Molecular cloning, expression, and purification of candidate antigen genes were carried out to obtain the candidate immunogens in the form of recombinant subunit vaccines. Western blotting was performed to evaluate immunogenicity in vitro and channel catfish were vaccinated by intraperitoneal injection and the specific antibody titers and relative percent of survival were determined to evaluate immune protection in vivo. The results showed that these three candidate immunogens were expressed correctly as recombinant proteins fused with His tags, with molecular weights of 70 kDa for Srr, 86 kDa for NeuA, and 51 kDa for Hsp, respectively. Moreover, each immunogen was predicted to be located either extracellularly or on the surface of S. iniae, and were able to offer protection against S. iniae infection in the form of recombinant subunit vaccines with adjuvant ISA763, especially Srr, with a relative percent of survival of 70% for Srr, 55% for NeuA, and 50% for Hsp, respectively.