Evaluation of guppy (Poecilia reticulata Peters) immunization against Tetrahymena sp. by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) Academic Article uri icon


  • Analysis of the effectiveness of guppy (Poecilia reticulata Peters) immunization based on measurements of antibody (Ab) titers suffers from a shortage of reagents that can detect guppy antibodies (Abs). To overcome this problem, we immunized mice with different preparations of guppy immunoglobulins (Igs) and used the mouse antisera to develop a quantitative enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). The most efficient immunogen for mouse immunization was guppy Igs adsorbed on protein A/G beads. Antisera from mice boosted with this immunoglobulin (Ig) preparation were highly specific and contained high Ab titers. They immunoreacted in a Western blot with Ig heavy and light chains from guppy serum, and Ig heavy chain from guppy whole-body homogenate. The mouse anti-guppy Ig was applied in an ELISA aimed at comparing the efficiency of different routes of guppy immunization against Tetrahymena: (i) anal intubation with sonicated Tetrahymena (40,000 Tetrahymena/fish in a total volume of 10 μL) mixed with domperidon, deoxycholic acid and free amino acids (valine, leucine, isoleucine, phenylalanine and tryptophan), or (ii) intraperitoneal (i.p.) injection of sonicated Tetrahymena in complete Freund's adjuvant (15,000 Tetrahymena/fish in total a volume of 20 μL). Negative control fish were anally intubated with the intubation mixture without Tetrahymena, or untreated. ELISA measurement of anti-Tetrahymena Ab titer revealed a significantly higher level of Abs in i.p.-immunized guppies, compared to the anally intubated and control fish. In addition, the efficiency of immunization was tested by monitoring guppy mortality following (i) i.p. challenge with Tetrahymena (900 Tetrahymena/fish) or (ii) cold stress followed by immersion in water containing 10,000 Tetrahymena/mL. Fish mortality on day 14 post-Tetrahymena infection by i.p. injection exceeded 50% in the control and anally intubated fish, compared to 31% in i.p.-immunized fish. Immunization did not protect from pathogen challenge by immersion. The results suggest a direct correlation between the anti-Tetrahymena Ab response and fish resistance to i.p.-injected Tetrahymena, but not to infection by immersion preceded by cold stress.

publication date

  • January 1, 2014