Natural Adjuvants to enhance Efficacy of Viral Vaccines for Mariculture
Viral diseases are a major impediment to the development and expansion of environmentally safe and sustainable aquaculture systems (NMFS 2007). Despite control measures, pathogenic viruses kill millions of fish and shellfish every year (ICES Mariculture Committee 2004). To date, vaccines against fish viruses have generally provided extremely poor protection or are too expensive (e.g. DNA vaccines). We will test the feasibility of binding natural marine and terrestrial biological structures to viruses to boost the immunogenicity of viral antigens delivered to the gills and mucosal surfaces of aquatic animals. A nanotechnology-based dynamic light scattering laser instrument will verify the attachment of the model virus particles. Groups of Atlantic Salmon (Salmo salar) will then undergo needle-less, immersion immunization with the most promising vaccine formulations to assess safety and efficacy. Antibody titers will be compared to identify candidate vaccine adjuvant systems for further investigations planned in Phase II research.
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