Herein we report the use of immunostimulant-loaded nanoliposomes (called NLc liposomes) as a strategy to protect fish against bacterial and/or viral infections. This work entailed developing a method for in vivo tracking of the liposomes administered to adult zebrafish that enables evaluation of their in vivo dynamics and characterisation of their tissue distribution. The NLc liposomes, which co-encapsulate poly(I:C) and LPS, accumulate in immune tissues and in immunologically relevant cells such as macrophages, as has been assessed in trout primary cell cultures. They protect zebrafish against otherwise lethal bacterial (Pseudomonas aeruginosa PAO1) and viral (Spring Viraemia of Carp Virus) infections regardless of whether they are administered by injection or by immersion, as demonstrated in a series of in vivo infection experiments with adult zebrafish. Importantly, protection was not achieved in fish that had been treated with empty liposomes or with a mixture of the free immunostimulants. Our findings indicate that stimulation of the innate immune system with co-encapsulated immunostimulants in nano-liposomes is a promising strategy to simultaneously improve the levels of protection against bacterial and viral infections in fish. © 2014 The Authors.
- Infection model
- Innate immunity