2018 Volume 80 Issue 2 Pages 272-279
Nervous necrosis virus (NNV), also known as betanodavirus, has been recently implicated in mass mortalities of cultured marine fish. An effective vaccine is urgently needed to protect fish against this virus. However, parenteral immunization methods are very stressful. Individual immunization for thousands of fish is very labor intensive and expensive. Therefore, we expressed NNV coat protein in tobacco chloroplasts and used it as an oral vaccine to induce immunities in fish followed by challenges with NNV. Our results revealed that mice (IgG and IgA) and fish (IgM) immunized with the oral vaccine developed significantly higher antibody titers against the NNV coat protein. Fish were partially protected against viral challenge. Taken together, our results demonstrated that a plant-based vaccine could effectively induce immune response and protect groupers against NNV. The present method could be used to develop oral fish vaccine in the future.