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Efficacy of a Kudoa thyrsites Subunit Vaccine in Atlantic Salmon when Administered Intramuscularly and Intraperitoneally



Kudoa thyrsites is a myxosporean parasite that, for part of its lifecycle, lives within myocytes of many marine teleosts including Atlantic salmon. Microtek international has genetically engineered a recombinant subunit vaccine for K. thyrsites. This candidate vaccine was designed using protein sequences determined by Robert Olafson (University of Victoria. These sequences are unique to K. thyrsites and the target antigens include those from the cathepsin as well as a plasmodial surface antigen. Pan Fish Canada would like to work with Microtek International and the Department of Fisheries and Oceans to test vaccine efficacy and determine if the vaccination route affects efficacy. Such an endeavor is not trivial owing to the fact that the water-borne stage responsible for infecting fish (actinospore) has not been identified or cultured so that a controlled challenge is not possible. In addition, a single method of measuring K. thyrsites infection levels that accurately predicts post-mortem flesh quality has not yet been established so that determination of vaccine efficacy will require thorough histological examination in conjunction with visual assessment of post-mortem flesh quality. Lastly, the immune response elicited by the two vaccination routes will be investigated by following specific antibody titres and antigen specific in vitro proliferation assays to gain a better understanding of the benefits of different vaccination routes in Atlantic salmon.

Program Name

Aquaculture Collaborative Research and Development Program (ACRDP)


2004 - 2006


Pacific: Vancouver Island West Coast

Principal Investigator(s)

Simon Jones

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