A number of factors can influence immune function affecting the magnitude and duration of specific immune responses. One factor which has been noted to affect immune responses is age of animal. In mammals, juveniles have a lower immune response when compared to adults. In fish, fry have a lower immune response than adults; however, few studies have investigated the immune response in juveniles, the age when most fish are reared in aquaculture settings. The humoral immune responses of hybrid striped bass (Morone saxatilis × Morone chrysops) at five different ages were compared to determine any maturational changes. Fifty fish were bath immunized with a commercial Vibrio vaccine at 4, 6, 9, 15, and 19 months of age. The antibody response in these fish was monitored by an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) for 106 days post-vaccination. The magnitude, duration, and time to peak level were compared to controls and between the different ages using analysis of variance (ANOVA). Younger fish exhibited significantly lower antibody levels indicating that juvenile fish may not be able to mount as effective an immune response as young adult fish.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Age changes
- Antibody production
- Striped bass