World Aquaculture Society Meetings


Jordan N. Garry*, David D. Kuhn, Michael H. Schwarz, Stephen A. Smith, Daniel P. Taylor, Barbara Blackistone, Daniel E. Butz, Mark E. Cook
*Department of Food Science and Technology
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
Blacksburg, VA 24061

Aquaculture has been the fastest growing animal-production sector in the world increasing at an average annual growth rate of 9% over the last forty years. Despite this growth, the rapid expansion of this industry has not been without issues. For example, disease outbreaks have overwhelmed certain sectors of the industry and have been catastrophic for many nations. To minimize disease outbreaks, efforts are underway to enhance animal health and disease resistance to pathogens without the use of antibiotics.

Recent work by a number of investigators has demonstrated that a conserved mechanism by which gastrointestinal pathogens avoid immune detection is through the up-regulation of interleukin-10 (IL-10), an immune cytokine that suppresses immune responses. This study will focus on the use of anti-IL-10 antibody to prevent disease in tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus) caused by pathogen Aeromonas hydrophila. The oral antibody to an IL-10 peptide derived from chicken egg yolk, has been successfully used in the prevention of growth rate depression in chickens due to infection. Anti-IL-10 has also been shown to improve immune protection while fed simultaneously with a vaccine rather than feeding the vaccine alone. This success leads to the implication that inhibition of IL-10, an anti-inflammatory cytokine in the digestive tract may be a target to control pathogenic diseases. The antibody's ability to disrupt the invasion of pathogens into host cells, suggests potential disease protection.

Studies will be conducted in the Virginia Tech aquaculture Biosafety Level-2 laboratory. There will be 4 treatments in the study; control feed (no disease challenge), control feed (with disease challenge), anti-IL-10 peptide-based feed (no disease challenge), and anti-IL-10 peptide-based feed (with disease challenge). The disease challenge will be with a clinical isolate of A. hydrophila. Tilapia from each treatment group will be monitored for clinical signs of disease by the observation of clinical signs, histopathological examination, and growth rate evaluation. This data will be analyzed to determine if anti-IL-10 can significantly protect fish from disease.

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