The project will bring together a unique combination of expertise in immunology, aquaculture, pharmaceutical and veterinary sciences to advance a novel approach to fish vaccination with specific application to GBS. The project will demonstrate the feasibility of a new platform technology of vaccine encapsulation, which could be adapted across a range of host and pathogen species.
Group B Streptococcus (GBS) is widely known as the cause of disease in babies. It also causes disease in fish with a significant impact on fish survival and farmers’ livelihoods in low or middle-income countries, e.g. in Vietnam, where fish farming makes crucial contributions to food security and the economy. Worryingly, GBS from fish can cause sepsis in otherwise healthy people following foodborne transmission. This emerging disease is of such concern that the FAO Regional Office for the Asia Pacific recently commissioned a Risk Profile on foodborne GBS. To combat the threat of GBS, antimicrobials are commonly used in fish farming, but this creates the risk of selection for antimicrobial resistance. Vaccines are urgently needed as an alternative method of GBS control. To be economically viable in tilapia aquaculture, oral delivery of vaccines is needed. We have developed a novel approach to oral vaccination using pH-dependent targeted delivery to the fish gut. We now seek to establish the host immune response to GBS bacterin vaccines delivered with this methodology. To this end, we will conduct vaccination and challenge studies, and evaluate the immune response and protection induced by our prototype vaccine. The project, led by the UK and Vietnamese mid-career scientists, will bring together a unique combination of expertise in immunology, aquaculture, pharmaceutical and veterinary sciences to advance a novel approach to fish vaccination with specific application to GBS. The project will demonstrate the feasibility of this new platform technology, which could be adapted across a range of host and pathogen species.
Harper Adams University
Professor Sudaxshina Murdan, UCL School of Pharmacy, UK Professor Ruth Zadoks, School of Veterinary Science, The University of Sydney, Australia Dr Nguyen Ngoc Phuoc Faculty of Fishery, University of Agriculture and Forestry, Hue University, Vietnam