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Evaluation of an adjuvanted hapten-protein vaccine approach to preventing sexual maturation of farmed Atlantic salmon




Orahood, Darcy Sonya, author
Salman, M. D., advisor
Eckery, Douglas C., committee member
Miller, Lowell A., committee member
Myrick, Christopher A., committee member
Rhyan, Jack C., committee member

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Aquaculture is a rapidly growing industry that significantly contributes to the world food supply. Sustainable practices in aquaculture are of increasing importance as an increasing proportion of fish in the global market come from aquaculture instead of wild catch. Maximizing aquaculture yields and minimizing the ecological impacts of these operations are two important goals towards sustainability. One approach to addressing these objectives is immunocontraception of fish which would increase the fish meat quality and yield in aquaculture production and prevent escaped farmed fish from undesirably altering wild fish population genetics through breeding. The research presented here was conducted with the aim of proof of concept for contraceptive vaccine use in Atlantic salmon. Nine vaccine formulations, including a negative control vaccine, were formulated at the National Wildlife Research Center in Fort Collins, Colorado and injected into farmed Atlantic salmon in Sunndalsøra, Norway. Production of antibodies against three immunogenic components in each vaccine formulation was evaluated over the course of the 12-week study. Weight and length of each fish were also tracked over time to determine whether growth was affected by vaccination. The study results indicate that Atlantic salmon will produce antibodies against BSA and KLH used as carrier proteins but that KLH is a stronger immunogen. Importantly, it was also determined that Atlantic salmon will produce antibodies against a small endogenous peptide (hapten) conjugated to the carrier protein, but to a lesser extent than the levels of antibody production against the carrier itself. Approximately 96% of samples from fish vaccinated against KLH, 76% of samples from fish vaccinated against BSA, and 36% of samples from fish vaccinated against the hapten were identified as positive. Response rates for all three antigens were highest 12 weeks post-vaccination. Significant differences in antibody levels were also detected between groups vaccinated with different immunostimulants. Collectively, the results provide proof of concept and provide a building block for further research on immunocontraception of Atlantic salmon for application in aquaculture.


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Atlantic salmon


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