A vaccine against the salmonid pathogen Piscirickettsia salmonis based on recombinant proteins
ABSTRACT: We report here the protective effect against piscirickettsiosis elicited in fish by a mixture of recombinant proteins. A comparative genomics strategy was used on a genomic library of Piscirickettsia salmonis in order to select optimal candidates for a recombinant subunit vaccine to protect fish from rickettsial septicaemia (SRS). Based on this information, 15 P. salmonis ORFs encoding heat shock proteins, virulence factors, membrane bound and other surface exposed antigens, were isolated and expressed. Seven of the most promising antigens were formulated in three mixtures (V1–V3) containing two or three recombinant proteins each and injected into salmon to test their protective efficacy. Two of the three formulations (V1, V2) elicited a strong protective response in a challenge against the pathogen, which was coincident with the humoral response against the corresponding recombinant proteins present in each formulation. V1, formulated with recombinant chaperonines Hsp60, Hsp70 and flagellar protein FlgG of P. salmonis achieved the highest level of protection with a relative percent survival (RPS) of 95%.