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Identification and localization of a putative ATP-binding cassette transporter in sea lice (Lepeophtheirus salmonis) and host Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar)

  • N. D. TRIBBLE (a1), J. F. BURKA (a1), F. S. B. KIBENGE (a2) and G. M. WRIGHT (a1)

Some members of the ABC-transporter superfamily, such as P-glycoprotein and the multidrug resistance associated protein, may confer resistance to the avermectin subclass of macrocyclic lactones. The aim of this study was to examine the presence of ABC transporters in both sea lice (Lepeophtheirus salmonis) and its Atlantic salmon host (Salmo salar) using monoclonal antibodies (C219 and JSB-1, with high selectivity for P-gp) and a new polyclonal antibody (SL0525) generated against a putative sea louse ABC transporter. The antibody raised to SL0525 did not react with rat P-gp, suggesting that an ABC transporter, not necessarily P-gp, was isolated. C219 was the only antibody to localize P-gp in all 3 salmon tissues (intestine, kidney and liver). American lobster (Homarus americanus) was used as a reference crustacean for L. salmonis immunostaining reactions and showed positive staining in the hepatopancreatic and intestinal tissues with all 3 antibodies. The L. salmonis showed positive staining in the intestinal epithelial lining with all antibodies. This report represents the first documented evidence for the expression of ABC transporters in L. salmonis, its Atlantic salmon host, and the American lobster.

Corresponding author
*Corresponding author: Department of Biomedical Sciences, Atlantic Veterinary College, University of Prince Edward Island, 550 University Ave., Charlottetown, PEI, CanadaC1A 4P3. Tel: +1 902 566 0810. Fax: +1 902 566 0832. E-mail:
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