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Journal of Immunology Research
Volume 2015, Article ID 635387, 6 pages
Research Article

Neobenedenia melleni-Specific Antibodies Are Associated with Protection after Continuous Exposure in Mozambique Tilapia

1Hawaii Institute of Marine Biology, School of Ocean & Earth Science and Technology, University of Hawaii at Manoa, P.O. Box 1346, Kaneohe, HI 96744, USA
2Sesoko Station, Tropical Biosphere Research Center, University of the Ryukyus, 3422 Sesoku, Motobu, Okinawa 905-0227, Japan

Received 26 September 2014; Revised 31 December 2014; Accepted 1 January 2015

Academic Editor: Cuiluan Yao

Copyright © 2015 Jennifer M. Kishimori et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Neobenedenia melleni is a significant monogenean pathogen of fish in aquaculture facilities and public aquaria. Immunity after exposure to live N. melleni is well established, but the mechanisms of immunity remain unclear. In this study, tilapia (Oreochromis mossambicus) were continuously exposed to N. melleni over a four-month period and assessed for immunity as determined by a reduction in the number of parasites dislodged from the experimental animals during freshwater immersion. Specific mucosal and systemic antibody levels were by determined via enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. At 45 days postexposure (DPE), fish displayed high parasite loads and baseline levels of mucosal antibodies. At 102 and 120 DPE parasite loads were significantly decreased, and antibody levels were significantly increased for mucus and plasma samples. The correlation between immunity (reduction in parasite load) and an increased humoral antibody response suggests a key role of antibody in the immune response. This is the first report of immunity against N. melleni that is associated with specific mucosal or systemic antibodies.