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Fish Shellfish Immunol. 2013 Feb;34(2):514-20. doi: 10.1016/j.fsi.2012.11.039. Epub 2012 Dec 16.

Comparative study of four flagellins of Vibrio anguillarum: vaccine potential and adjuvanticity.

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  • 1School of Medicine and Pharmacy, Ocean University of China, Qingdao 266003, China.


Vibrio anguillarum is the etiological agent of vibriosis, an aquaculture disease that affects a wide range of farmed fish. The genome of V. anguillarum contains five flagellin genes, i.e. flaA, flaB, flaC, flaD, and flaE. In this study, we analyzed the vaccine potential and adjuvanticity of FlaA, FlaB, FlaD, and FlaE in a model of Japanese flounder (Paralichthys olivaceus). For this purpose, recombinant FlaA, FlaB, FlaD, and FlaE were expressed in and purified from Escherichia coli. In vivo immunogenicity analysis showed that antibodies against rFlaA, rFlaB, rFlaD, and rFlaE were detected in rat antiserum raised against live V. anguillarum, with the highest antibody level being that against rFlaB. When administered into flounder via intraperitoneal injection, rFlaA, rFlaD, and rFlaE induced comparable relative percent survival (RPS) rates, which were significantly lower than that induced by rFlaB. Specific serum antibodies were induced by all flagellins, however, the antibody level induced by rFlaB was significantly higher than those induced by other three flagellins. Compared to sera from fish vaccinated with rFlaA, rFlaD, and rFlaE, serum from fish vaccinated with rFlaB significantly reduced the infectivity of V. anguillarum against host cells. To examine the potential adjuvant effect of the flagellins, flounder were immunized with rEsa1, a D15-like surface antigen that induces protective immunity as a subunit vaccine, in the presence or absence of rFlaA, rFlaB, rFlaD, and rFlaE respectively. The results showed that rFlaE, but not other three flagellins, significantly increased the RPS of rEsa1. Compared to fish vaccinated with rEsa1, fish vaccinated with rEsa1 plus rFlaE exhibited a significantly higher level of serum antibodies and enhanced expression of the genes involved in innate and adaptive immunity. Taken together, these results indicate that FlaA, FlaB, FlaD, and FlaE have different immunological properties and, as a result, differ in vaccine and adjuvant potentials.

Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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