Pharmacological iron-chelation as an assisted nutritional immunity strategy against Piscirickettsia salmonis infection
Mandakovic, Dinka [Univ Mayor, GEMA Ctr Gen Ecol & Environm, Chile]
Yañez, Jose Manuel
Salmonid Rickettsial Septicaemia (SRS), caused by Piscirickettsia salmonis, is a severe bacterial disease in the Chilean salmon farming industry. Vaccines and antibiotics are the current strategies to fight SRS; however, the high frequency of new epizootic events confirms the need to develop new strategies to combat this disease. An innovative opportunity is perturbing the host pathways used by the microorganisms to replicate inside host cells through host-directed antimicrobial drugs (HDAD). Iron is a critical nutrient for P. salmonis infection; hence, the use of iron-chelators becomes an excellent alternative to be used as HDAD. The aim of this work was to use the iron chelator Deferiprone (DFP) as HDAD to treat SRS. Here, we describe the protective effect of the iron chelator DFP over P. salmonis infections at non-antibiotic concentrations, in bacterial challenges both in vitro and in vivo. At the cellular level, our results indicate that DFP reduced the intracellular iron content by 33.1% and P. salmonis relative load during bacterial infections by 78%. These findings were recapitulated in fish, where DFP reduced the mortality of rainbow trout challenged with P. salmonis in 34.9% compared to the non-treated group. This is the first report of the protective capacity of an iron chelator against infection in fish, becoming a potential effective host-directed therapy for SRS and other animals against ferrophilic pathogens.
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