Submitted to: Book Chapter
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: 2/11/2014
Publication Date: 4/1/2015
Citation: Shoemaker, C.A., Xu, D., Lafrentz, B.R., Lapatra, S. 2015. Overview of fish immune system and infectious diseases. In: Lee, C.S., Lim, C., Gatlin, D.M., Webster, C.D. Dietary Nutrients, Additive, and Fish Health. Hoboken, New Jersey:John Wiley & Sons, Inc. 1-24.
Technical Abstract: A brief overview of the fish immune system and the emerging or re-emerging bacterial, viral, parasitic and fungal diseases considered to currently have a negative impact on aquaculture is presented. The fish immune system has evolved with both innate (natural resistance) and adaptive (acquired) immune mechanisms. Fish possess white blood cells (e.g., macrophages) and other molecules (e.g. complement) that function as a first line of defense and to instruct and prime the adaptive response. Adaptive immunity is characterized by specificity and associated memory and consists of cell mediated and humoral (antibody) immunity. An overview of the emerging or re-emerging pathogens responsible for significant loss and/or considered to be responsible for OIE reportable disease(s)is also provided. As feed is a significant portion of aquaculture production (about 75%), adequate nutrition has a major impact on the immune system of fish and ultimately on the immune response to pathogens. The information presented in this chapter will provide a basic understanding of the fish immune system and the pathogens responsible for disease losses in aquaculture.