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JOURNAL ARTICLE

Effectiveness of egg yolk immunoglobulin against the intracellular salmonid pathogen Piscirickettsia salmonis

C Oliver, K Valenzuela, H Silva, R E Haro, M Cortés, R Sandoval, J P Pontigo, C Álvarez, J E Figueroa, R Avendaño-Herrera, J M Troncoso, A J Yáñez
Journal of Applied Microbiology 2015, 119 (2): 365-76
26018590

AIMS: To produce and characterize egg yolk immunoglobulin (IgY) against the fish intracellular pathogen Piscirickettsia salmonis as well as to evaluate the antibacterial activity of IgY in vitro and the availability in the serum of fish immunized orally.

METHODS AND RESULTS: Specific IgY was produced by immunizing hens with P. salmonis proteins. The IgY was obtained from egg yolks using the ammonium sulphate precipitation method and it was characterized by SDS-PAGE, Western-blot and ELISA, demonstrating that anti-P. salmonis IgY strongly reacted specifically against P. salmonis proteins. In an in vitro neutralization assay, IgY inhibited the growth of P. salmonis in liquid medium at concentrations ranging from 128 to 256 μg ml(-1) in a dose-dependent manner. Interestingly, IgY against P. salmonis also generates a strong protective effect on the infection of P. salmonis in salmon head kidney-1 cells. In addition, the bacteriostatic function of IgY appears to result possibly from agglutination by the interaction of IgY with surface components of the pathogen. Finally, to confirm this IgY as an alternative for salmonid treatment, Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) specimens were orally inoculated with IgY. The analysis of the sera demonstrates that IgY was effectively transported by fish intestine and that this immunoglobulins maintains its properties and recognizes several proteins of P. salmonis up to 12 h after inoculation of IgY against P. salmonis.

CONCLUSIONS: Specific IgY effectively inhibited the growth of P. salmonis and this immunoglobulin can be released in the Atlantic salmon sera when administered orally to fish.

SIGNIFICANCE AND IMPACT OF THE STUDY: We propose that this specific IgY against this fastidious micro-organism could be a useful strategy for the treatment of piscirickettsiosis.

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