The emergence of spring viremia of carp virus (SVCV) in the United States constitutes a potentially serious alien pathogen threat to susceptible fish stocks in North America. A DNA vaccine with an SVCV glycoprotein (G) gene from a North American isolate was constructed. In order to test the vaccine a challenge model utilizing a specific pathogen-free domestic koi stock and a cold water stress treatment was also developed. We have conducted four trial studies demonstrating that the pSGnc DNA vaccine provided protection in vaccinated fish against challenge at low, moderate, and high virus doses of the homologous virus. The protection was significant (p < 0.05) as compared to fish receiving a mock vaccine construct containing a luciferase reporter gene and to non-vaccinated controls in fish ranging in age from 3 to 14 months. In all trials, the SVCV-G DNA immunized fish were challenged 28-days post-vaccination (546 degree-days) and experienced low mortalities varying from 10 to 50% with relative percent survivals ranging from 50 to 88%. The non-vaccinated controls and mock construct vaccinated fish encountered high cumulative percent mortalities ranging from 70 to 100%. This is the first report of a SVCV DNA vaccine being tested successfully in koi. These experiments prove that the SVCV DNA (pSGnc) vaccine can elicit specific reproducible protection and validates its potential use as a prophylactic vaccine in koi and other vulnerable North American fish stocks.
Additional publication details
DNA vaccine protects ornamental koi (Cyprinus carpio koi) against North American spring viremia of carp virus