Individual monitoring of immune responses in rainbow trout after cohabitation and intraperitoneal injection challenge with Yersinia ruckeri

Milena M. Monte, Katy Urquhart, Christopher J. Secombes, Bertrand Collet

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22 Citations (Scopus)
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Yersinia ruckeri, the causative agent of enteric red mouth disease (ERM), is a widely studied pathogen in disease models using rainbow trout. This infection model, mostly based on intraperitoneally injection or bath immersion challenges, has an impact on both components (innate and adaptive) of the fish immune system. Although there has been much attention in studying its host-pathogen interactions, there is still a lack of knowledge regarding the impact of a cohabitation challenge. To tackle this we used a newly established non-lethal sampling method (by withdrawing a small amount of blood) in rainbow trout which allowed the individual immune monitoring before (non-infected) and after infection with Yersinia ruckeri either by intraperitoneal (i.p.) injection or by cohabitation (cohab). A range of key immune genes were monitored during the infection by real-time PCR, and results were compared between the two infection routes. Results indicated that inflammatory (IL-1β1 and IL-8) cytokines and certain antimicrobial peptides (cathelicidins) revealed a different pattern of expression between the two infected groups (i.p. vs cohab), in comparison to adaptive immune cytokines (IL-22, IFN-γ and IL-4/13A) and β-defensins. This suggests a different involvement of distinct immune markers according to the infection model, and the importance of using a cohabitation challenge as a more natural disease model that likely simulates what would occur naturally in the environment.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)469-478
Number of pages10
JournalFish & Shellfish Immunology
Early online date28 May 2016
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2016

Bibliographical note

This work was funded by the National Centre for the Replacement, Refinement and Reduction of Animals in Research (NC3Rs, grant G1100675). The authors are grateful to the aquarium staff at the University of Aberdeen (Karen Massie) and Dr David Smail at Marine Scotland for valuable discussion during the establishment of the experimental design.


  • non-lethal sampling
  • yersinia ruckeri
  • intraperitoneal injection
  • cohabitation
  • cytokines
  • antimicrobial peptides


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