Increased efficacy of immersion vaccination in fish with hyperosmotic pretreatment

Mark O. Huising, Teun Guichelaar, Casper Hoek, B. M.Lidy Verburg-van Kemenade, Gert Flik, Huub F.J. Savelkoul, Jan H.W.M. Rombout

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

75 Scopus citations


Immersion vaccination is common practice in aquaculture, because of its convenience for mass vaccination with sufficient protection. However, the mechanisms of antigen uptake and presentation, resulting in a protective immune response and the role of the innate immune system therein are largely unknown. The impact of immersion vaccination on fish physiology and on the ensuing innate and specific immune response was characterized with fluorescently labeled particulate and soluble model antigens. Vaccination of common carp by direct immersion (DI) or hyperosmotic immersion (HI; direct immersion, preceded by a brief immersion in a hypertonic solution) greatly enhanced the uptake of soluble, but not particulate antigen through temporary disruption of the integrity of the epithelia of gills and skin. Damage induced is mild and does not impose additional stress over the handling associated with immersion vaccination. Especially HI briefly but strongly activates the innate immune system. We conclude that HI more effectively increased the uptake of vaccine and enhanced the efficacy by which vaccine components are processed and presented by the innate immune system, dually enhancing the mucosal immune response. Understanding the mechanisms involved in uptake and processing of vaccine in the early phase of the immune response will greatly benefit the design of immersion vaccination.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4178-4193
Number of pages16
Issue number27-30
StatePublished - Oct 1 2003
Externally publishedYes


  • Aeromonas salmonicida
  • Bath vaccination
  • Hyperosmotic immersion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)
  • veterinary(all)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Infectious Diseases


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