Introduction: The goal of this study was to assess the influence of vaccination against enteric redmouth disease on oxidative stress biomarkers and antioxidant defence in the muscle tissue of rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss Walbaum) vaccinated against Yersinia ruckeri in the first and second month after immunisation. Material and Methods: Healthy fish were vaccinated orally with inactivated whole cells of a virulent strain of Y. ruckeri. One and two months after immunisation the muscle samples were collected. Results: No significant difference was noted in lipid peroxidation level in either the first or second month after vaccination, while aldehydic and ketonic derivatives of oxidatively modified proteins (OMB) in the vaccinated group were significantly lower in the second month compared to those in the first month after vaccination (P < 0.05). The content of ketonic derivatives of OMB in muscles in the first month after immunisation was higher compared to untreated control. All these culminated in a depletion of glutathione peroxidase (GPx) activity and low level of total antioxidant capacity (TAC). Conclusion: Correlations between catalase activity and lipid peroxidation and TAC confirmed the pivotal role of catalase in antioxidant defence during immunisation. From a broader perspective, it is suggested that immunisation of fish with Yersinia vaccine is associated with induced free radical formation and oxidative stress. Free radicals would therefore be at least partially responsible for the induction of both humoral and cellular elements of the immunity and increased protective immunity against Y. ruckeri infection.
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