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Administration of recombinant parasite β-tubulin to goldfish (Carassius auratusL.) confers partial protection against challenge infection withTrypanosoma danilewskyiLaveran and Mesnil, 1904

Veterinary Parasitology
Publication Date
DOI: 10.1016/j.vetpar.2007.09.030
  • Protozoa
  • Goldfish
  • Immunization
  • β-Tubulin
  • Antibodies
  • Immune Response
  • Protection
  • Aquaculture


Abstract The infection of carp and other cyprinid fish with Trypanosoma danilewskyi was reported to cause significant morbidity and mortality in aquaculture. Tubulin is a component of parasite excretory/secretory (ES) products recognized by antibodies present in the serum of recovered hosts. To assess the role of parasite tubulin in the induction of a protective immune response in the goldfish, recombinant T. danilewskyi β-tubulin was produced in Escherichia coli and used to immunize goldfish against challenge with live parasites. Affinity purified rabbit anti-recombinant tubulin IgG bound to both surface and internal structures of trypanosomes, and when added to parasite cultures caused a dose-dependent inhibition of their growth in vitro. Immunization of goldfish i.p. with either 40 μg or 80 μg of endotoxin-free β-tubulin + Freund's complete adjuvant (FCA) caused a significant decrease in parasitemia during the establishment phase of the infection (days 3 and 7) and increased the time required to reach the maximal mean number of parasites compared to non-immunized sham-injected control fish. The serum from immune fish contained antibodies that recognized trypanosomes as determined by confocal immunofluorescence microscopy and specific antibodies that recognized recombinant tubulin as measured by ELISA. Thus, the immunization of goldfish with recombinant parasite β-tubulin conferred partial antibody-mediated protection against a challenge infection with live trypanosomes. This is a first report that parasite tubulin is immunogenic in poikilothermic vertebrates.

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