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Differential transcriptomic response in the spleen and head kidney following vaccination and infection of Asian seabass with Streptococcus iniae

Jiang, J., Miyata, M., Chan, C., Ngoh, S.Y., Liew, W.C., Saju, J.M., Ng, K.S., Wong, F.S., Lee, Y.S., Chang, S.F. and Orbán, L. (2014) Differential transcriptomic response in the spleen and head kidney following vaccination and infection of Asian seabass with Streptococcus iniae. PLoS ONE, 9 (7).

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Vaccination is an important strategy in the protection of aquaculture species from major diseases. However, we still do not have a good understanding of the mechanisms underlying vaccine-induced disease resistance. This is further complicated by the presence of several lymphoid organs that play different roles when mounting an immune response. In this study, we attempt to elucidate some of these mechanisms using a microarray-based approach. Asian seabass (Lates calcarifer) were vaccinated against Streptococcus iniae and the transcriptomic changes within the spleen and head kidney at one and seven days post-vaccination were profiled. We subsequently challenged the seabass at three weeks post-vaccination with live S. iniae and similarly profiled the transcriptomes of the two organs after the challenge. We found that vaccination induced an early, but transient transcriptomic change in the spleens and a delayed response in the head kidneys, which became more similar to one another compared to un-vaccinated ones. When challenged with the pathogen, the spleen, but not the head kidneys, responded transcriptomically at 25-29 hours post-challenge. A unique set of genes, in particular those involved in the activation of NF-κB signaling, was up-regulated in the vaccinated spleens upon pathogen challenge but not in the unvaccinated spleens. A semi-quantitative PCR detection of S. iniae using metagenomic DNA extracted from the water containing the seabass also revealed that vaccination resulted in reduction of pathogen shedding. This result indicated that vaccination not only led to a successful immune defense against the infection, but also reduced the chances for horizontal transmission of the pathogen. In conclusion, we have provided a transcriptomic analysis of how the teleost spleen and head kidneys responded to vaccination and subsequent infection. The different responses from the two organs are suggestive of their unique roles in establishing a vaccine-induced disease resistance.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): Centre for Comparative Genomics
Publisher: Public Library of Science
Copyright: © 2014 Jiang et al
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