Journal Article

Lectins of the innate immune system and their relevance to fish health

K. V. Ewart, S. C. Johnson and N. W. Ross

in ICES Journal of Marine Science

Published on behalf of ICES/CIEM

Volume 58, issue 2, pages 380-385
Published in print January 2001 | ISSN: 1054-3139
Published online January 2001 | e-ISSN: 1095-9289 | DOI:
Lectins of the innate immune system and their relevance to fish health

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Innate immunity is a key component of disease resistance in vertebrates. Instead of relying on antibodies for pathogen recognition, innate immunity consists largely of pattern-based recognition of non-self cells, often through the arrangement of carbohydrates on their surfaces. In mammals, the proteins that recognize these carbohydrates are soluble lectins known to play key roles in the innate immune system and to affect overall disease resistance. These lectins would be expected to play an equal or greater role in fish, in which acquired (i.e. antibody-mediated) immunity is more variable. There are many reports of lectin or agglutinin activities in fish. However, there are few in which the protein has been biochemically characterized or analysed with respect to pathogen recognition or immunity in the host animal. Several laboratories have recently begun to work towards the identification and the structural and functional characterization of fish lectins. Development in this area may provide new tools for prevention, monitoring, and treatment of disease in fish.

Keywords: aquaculture; Atlantic salmon; fish health; innate immunity; lectin; multimer; Oncorhynchus mykiss; rainbow trout; Salmo salar

Journal Article.  0 words. 

Subjects: Environmental Science ; Marine and Estuarine Biology

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