A novel antiparasitic vaccine using killed bacterial vectors for the introduction of parasite antigens in fish

The parasite Ichthyophthirius multifiliis is a major problem for the sustainability of aquaculture worldwide. The parasite causes massive mortalities and the only way to control the disease is by the continuous of chemicals.

It is known, following a primary infection, that survivor fish acquire immunity against the parasite which makes vaccination against this parasitosis possible. Unfortunately, the parasite cannot be cultivated in the laboratory and production of vaccine material is laborious and not suitable for large scale implementation. Therefore, new strategies are needed and we want to investigate a novel technique, which can create a proof of concept within antiparasitic vaccine methodology, where we exploit an already established commercially available anti-bacterial vaccine.

 The anti-bacterial vaccine is applied by immersing fish into a soup of killed bacteria for 30 sec. Our idea is to make a bacterium express parasite immunogenic antigens coupled to GFP (Green Flourescent Protein), kill the bacteria and immerse fish into a soup of dead recombinant bacteria. Bacterial components will work as adjuvants and the fish may develop immunity against both the bacteria and the parasite. The parasite proteins will be coupled to GFP in order for us to follow the antigen uptake in fish.  

FUNDING: The Danish Council for Technology and Innovation  with DKK 3,205,315

Louise von Gersdorff Jørgensen, Post Doc.
Department of Veterinary Disease Biology
Laboratory of Aquatic Pathobiology (DAFINET)          


University of Copenhagen
Professor Kurt Buchmann
Associate professor Per Kania
Associate professor Marianne Halberg Larsen
Associate professor Dorte Frees

University of Southern Denmark
Associate professor Karsten Skjødt
Professor Peter Højrup

United States Department of Agriculture
Research Leader Philip Klesius
Research Parasitologist Dehai Xu