Aquatic Immunology

Fish, as the first vertebrate group appearing in evolution after adaptive radiation during the Devonic period, still represent the most successful and diverse group of vertebrates. This heterogeneous group of organisms occupy an apparent crossroads between the innate immune response and the appearance of the adaptive immune response. Importantly, immune organs homologues to those of the mammalian immune system are present in fish. However, their structural complexity is less, potentially limiting the capability to generate fully functional adaptive immune responses against pathogen invasion. The ability of fish to mount successful immune responses with apparently more robust innate responses than that observed in higher vertebrates. As in all vertebrates, fish have cellular and humoral immune responses and a central organ that’s the main function is involved in immune defence. Taking into account differences due to body compartments and cell organization, most of the generative and secondary lymphoid organs present in mammals are also found in fish, except for the lymphatic nodules and the bone marrow. Instead, the head kidney, a glomerular, assumes hemopoietic functions, and unlike higher vertebrates is the principal immune organ responsible for phagocytosis, antigen processing and formation of IgM and immune memory through melanomacrophagic centres.

  • Recent advances in fish immunology
  • Aquatic vaccine on fish disease control
  • Commercial immunodiagnostics in fish pathogen detection
  • Evolution and diversity of immunological system of fishes

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