Several oral vaccination studies have been undertaken to evoke a better protection against white spot syndrome virus (WSSV), a major shrimp pathogen. Formalin-inactivated virus and WSSV envelope protein VP28 were suggested as candidate vaccine components, but their uptake mechanism upon oral delivery was not elucidated. In this study the fate of these components and of live WSSV, orally intubated to black tiger shrimp (Penaeus monodon) was investigated by immunohistochemistry, employing antibodies specific for VP28 and haemocytes. The midgut has been identified as the most prominent site of WSSV uptake and processing. The truncated recombinant VP28 (rec-VP28), formalin-inactivated virus (IVP) and live WSSV follow an identical uptake route suggested as receptor-mediated endocytosis that starts with adherence of luminal antigens at the apical layers of gut epithelium. Processing of internalized antigens is performed in endo-lysosomal compartments leading to formation of supra-nuclear vacuoles. However, the majority of WSSV-antigens escape these compartments and are transported to the inter-cellular space via transcytosis. Accumulation of the transcytosed antigens in the connective tissue initiates aggregation and degranulation of haemocytes. Finally the antigens exiting the midgut seem to reach the haemolymph. The nearly identical uptake pattern of the different WSSV-antigens suggests that receptors on the apical membrane of shrimp enterocytes recognize rec-VP28 efficiently. Hence the truncated VP28 can be considered suitable for oral vaccination, when the digestion in the foregut can be bypassed.
- spot syndrome virus
- prophenoloxidase activating system
- cyprinus-carpio l