The efficacy of a modified live monovalent Flavobacterium columnare vaccine and bivalent F. columnare and Edwardsiella ictaluri vaccines were evaluated following immersion vaccination of eyed channel catfish (Ictalurus punctatus) eggs. The modified live F. columnare vaccine was grown in modified Shieh broth and administered at 1.35 × 107CFU/ml for 15 min exposure (1 l water). Booster immunization was conducted at day 34 with 2.17 × 107CFU/ml for 15 min. Bivalent vaccines consisted of a 1:1 ratio of the modified live F. columnare and AQUAVAC-ESC™ vaccine for the 15 min exposure (1 l immersion bath). Non-vaccinated controls were held in 1 l water without vaccine for 15 min. Fish were challenged with F. columnare (ALG-00-530) by immersion at days 109, 116, and 137 post-primary immunization or E. ictaluri (AL-93-75) by immersion at day 116 (bivalent vaccine group). Efficacy of monovalent modified live F. columnare vaccine administered singly or with a booster vaccination was shown to be protective with relative percent survival (RPS) values ranging from 50.0 to 76.8. Some variation was seen in RPS values following bivalent immunization, ranging from 33.0 to 59.7 in the fish challenged with F. columnare and 44.5 to 66.7 in fish challenged with E. ictaluri. However, the RPS values were not statistically different. The results suggest that administration of live bivalent vaccine at the eyed-egg stage is safe and elicits protection upon single pathogen challenge. © 2006 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
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