A tale of two fish: Comparative transcriptomics of resistant and susceptible steelhead following exposure to Ceratonova shasta highlights differences in parasite recognition

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Date: Feb. 23, 2021
From: PLoS ONE(Vol. 16, Issue 2)
Publisher: Public Library of Science
Document Type: Report
Length: 13,260 words
Lexile Measure: 1530L

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Abstract :

Diseases caused by myxozoan parasites represent a significant threat to the health of salmonids in both the wild and aquaculture setting, and there are no effective therapeutants for their control. The myxozoan Ceratonova shasta is an intestinal parasite of salmonids that causes severe enteronecrosis and mortality. Most fish populations appear genetically fixed as resistant or susceptible to the parasite, offering an attractive model system for studying the immune response to myxozoans. We hypothesized that early recognition of the parasite is a critical factor driving resistance and that susceptible fish would have a delayed immune response. RNA-seq was used to identify genes that were differentially expressed in the gills and intestine during the early stages of C. shasta infection in both resistant and susceptible steelhead (Oncorhynchus mykiss). This revealed a downregulation of genes involved in the IFN-[gamma] signaling pathway in the gills of both phenotypes. Despite this, resistant fish quickly contained the infection and several immune genes, including two innate immune receptors were upregulated. Susceptible fish, on the other hand, failed to control parasite proliferation and had no discernible immune response to the parasite, including a near-complete lack of differential gene expression in the intestine. Further sequencing of intestinal samples from susceptible fish during the middle and late stages of infection showed a vigorous yet ineffective immune response driven by IFN-[gamma], and massive differential expression of genes involved in cell adhesion and the extracellular matrix, which coincided with the breakdown of the intestinal structure. Our results suggest that the parasite may be suppressing the host's immune system during the initial invasion, and that susceptible fish are unable to recognize the parasite invading the intestine or mount an effective immune response. These findings improve our understanding of myxozoan-host interactions while providing a set of putative resistance markers for future studies.

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Gale Document Number: GALE|A652794653