Mycobacterial infections greatly affect human and animal health worldwide, and vaccines are effective, sustainable and economic interventions for the prevention and control of these infectious diseases. Recent results support the use of zebrafish as a model for studying the pathophysiology of mycobacterial infection and for the development of novel interventions for tuberculosis (TB) control. Recently, we showed that oral immunization with the heat-inactivated M. bovis vaccine (M. bovis IV) protect wild boar against TB, and suggested that this vaccine may controls mycobacterial infection in other species.
In this study we evaluated the effect of M. bovis IV on the control of mycobacteriosis in zebrafish mucosally vaccinated by immersion and challenged intraperitoneally with Mycobacterium marinum.
The results showed that the M. bovis IV administered by immersion protected zebrafish against mycobacteriosis caused by M. marinum by reduction in mycobacterial infection, the number of mycobacteria per granuloma and the number of granulomas per fish. An IgM antibody response against M. bovis antigens was developed in vaccinated fish. Evidences suggested that the protective mechanism elicited by mucosal vaccination with M. bovis IV in zebrafish was based on the activation of the innate immune response through the C3 pathway.
These results support the use of the M. bovis IV administered by immersion for the control of mycobacteriosis in fish.