Citation Ramirez-Paredes JG, Mendoza-Roldan MA, Lopez-Jimena B, Shahin K, Metselaar M, Thompson KD, Penman DJ, Richards RH & Adams A (2019) Whole cell inactivated autogenous vaccine effectively protects red Nile tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus) against francisellosis via intraperitoneal injection. Journal of Fish Diseases. https://doi.org/10.1111/jfd.13041
Abstract Francisella noatunensis subsp. orientalis is a pathogen of tilapia and other warm‐water fish for which no vaccines are commercially available. In this study, a whole cell formalin‐inactivated vaccine was developed for the first time using the highly virulent isolate STIR‐GUS‐F2f7 and the oil‐based adjuvant Montanide™ ISA 763A VG. The efficacy of the vaccine was assessed in red Nile tilapia via intraperitoneal (i.p.) injection using homologous experimental infection and correlates of protection such as seral antibody production and bacterial loads in the spleen. For immunization, fish were i.p. injected with 0.1 ml of the vaccine, the adjuvant alone or PBS. At 840 degree days post‐vaccination, all fish were i.p. injected with 4.0 × 103 CFU/fish of pathogenic bacteria. The RPS at the end of the trial was 100% in the vaccinated group with significantly higher survival than in the adjuvant and control groups. The RPS in the adjuvant group was 42%, and no significant difference was seen in survival between this and the PBS group. Moreover, significantly higher antibody titres in the serum and significantly lower bacterial loads in the spleen were detected in the vaccinated fish by ELISA and qPCR, respectively. These findings highlight the potential of autogenous vaccines for controlling francisellosis in tilapia.