Transcriptomic characterization of Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) head kidney following administration of Aeromonas salmonicida subsp. masoucida vaccine

Fish Shellfish Immunol. 2022 Jul;126:150-163. doi: 10.1016/j.fsi.2022.05.022. Epub 2022 May 14.


Atlantic salmon is one of the most famous and economically important fish species globally. However, bacterial diseases constantly constrain salmon aquaculture. Thereinto, Aeromonas salmonicida subsp. masoucida (ASM), classified as atypical A. salmonicida, caused huge losses to salmonid industry in China. In this regard, we conducted transcriptome analysis in Atlantic salmon head kidney following the administration of ASM vaccination to reveal genes, their expression patterns, and pathways involved in immune responses. A total of 448.71 million clean reads were obtained, and 397.69 million reads were mapped onto the Atlantic salmon reference genome. In addition, 117, 1891, 741, 207, and 377 genes were significantly up-regulated, and 183, 1920, 695, 83, and 539 genes were significantly down-regulated post ASM vaccination at 12 h, 24 h, 1 m, 2 m, and 3 m, respectively. Furthermore, KEGG pathway analysis revealed that many differentially expressed genes (DEGs) following ASM vaccination were involved in cell adhesion molecules (H2-Aa-l and CD28-l),cytokine-cytokine receptor interaction (IL10, CXCL9, CXCL11, CXCR3, and CCL19), herpes simplex infection (IL1B, SOCS3-l, and C3-l), HTLV-I infection (Il1r2 and BCL2L1), influenza A (CXCL8 and Il12b), and PI3K-Akt signaling pathway (PIK3R3-l and Ddit4-l). Finally, the results of qRT-PCR showed a significant correlation with RNA-Seq results, suggesting the reliability of RNA-Seq for gene expression analysis. This study sets the foundation for further study on the vaccine protective mechanism in Atlantic salmon as well as other teleost species.

Keywords: Aeromonas salmonicida; Atlantic salmon; Head kidney; Transcriptome; Vaccination.

MeSH terms

  • Aeromonas
  • Aeromonas salmonicida* / physiology
  • Animals
  • Fish Diseases*
  • Head Kidney
  • Phosphatidylinositol 3-Kinases / genetics
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Salmo salar*
  • Transcriptome
  • Vaccines*


  • Vaccines

Supplementary concepts

  • Aeromonas salmonicida subsp. masoucida