Back From the Brink: Alterations in B and T Cell Responses Modulate Recovery of Rainbow Trout From Chronic Immunopathological Tetracapsuloides bryosalmonae Infection

Bailey, Christyn; Segner, Helmut; Wahli, Thomas; Tafalla, Carolina (2020). Back From the Brink: Alterations in B and T Cell Responses Modulate Recovery of Rainbow Trout From Chronic Immunopathological Tetracapsuloides bryosalmonae Infection. Frontiers in immunology, 11(1093) Frontiers Research Foundation 10.3389/fimmu.2020.01093

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Proliferative kidney disease (PKD) caused by the myxozoan parasite Tetracapsuloides bryosalmonae is one of the most serious infectious diseases negatively impacting farmed and wild salmonids throughout Europe and North America. PKD pathogenesis results in a massive B cell proliferation and dysregulation with aberrant immunoglobulin production and plasma cell differentiation along with a decrease in myeloid cells and inhibition of innate pathways. Despite the huge immunopathological reaction in the kidney during infection, under specific conditions, fish can survive and return to full fitness. Fish are unique in this ability to recover renal structure and functionality from extensive tissue damage in contrast to mammals. However, only limited knowledge exists regarding the host immune response coinciding with PKD recovery. Moreover, almost no studies of the immune response during disease recovery exist in fish. We utilized the rainbow trout–T. bryosalmonae system as an immunological model of disease recovery. Our results demonstrated that recovery is preceded by an intense immune response at the transcript level, decreasing parasite burden, and an increased degree of kidney inflammation. Later in the recovery phase, the immune response transpired with a significant decrease in lymphocytes and an increase in myeloid cells. These lymphocytes populations contained lower levels of B cells comparative to the control in the anterior and posterior kidney. Additionally, there was downregulation of several transcripts used as markers for plasma cells (blimp1, igt sec, igm sec, igd sec, and cd38) and T cell subsets (cd4, cd8α, cd8β, and tcrβ). The decrease in these T cell transcripts significantly correlated with decreasing parasite intensity. Alternatively, there was strong upregulation of pax-5 and igt mem. This suggests a change in B cell processes during the recovery phase relative to clinical PKD may be necessary for the host to re-establish homeostasis in terms of an arrest in the dominant antibody like response transitioning to a transcriptional profile associated with resting B cells. The knowledge generated here in combination with earlier studies illuminates the full power of analyzing the entire trajectory of disease from the normal healthy state to recovery enabling the measurement of an immune response to pinpoint a specific disease stage.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


05 Veterinary Medicine > Department of Infectious Diseases and Pathobiology (DIP) > Center for Fish and Wildlife Health (FIWI)

UniBE Contributor:

Segner, Helmut and Wahli, Thomas


600 Technology > 630 Agriculture
500 Science
500 Science > 570 Life sciences; biology




Frontiers Research Foundation




Irene Adrian-Kalchhauser

Date Deposited:

08 Jun 2020 09:35

Last Modified:

08 Jun 2020 09:45

Publisher DOI:





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