A vaccine comprising cells of Aeromonas bestiarum grown in tryptic soy broth and atypical A. salmonicida cells produced in iron-limited and iron-supplemented media protected goldfish Carassius auratus when administered by immersion (dosage ˜ 5 × 107 cells/mL for 60 s) followed after 28 d by an oral booster (dosage = 5 × 107 cells/g of feed), which was fed for 7 d so that each fish received about 1 g of vaccine-containing feed. After challenge by intramuscular injection of a virulent culture of atypical A. salmonicida, the relative percent survival (RPS) was more than 90%. The approach was more successful than using a commercial furunculosis vaccine with or without supplementation with A. bestiarum or atypical A. salmonicida cells. Moreover, a smooth derivative of the virulent rough culture of atypical A. salmonicida was less effective as a vaccine candidate, yielding an RPS of only 65%. Low antibody titers of 1:39-1:396 were found in the vaccinated fish. The vaccinated fish had a significantly higher proportion of dead head kidney macrophages (10.9 ± 3.5%; P = 0.0149) than did the controls (6.8 ± 3.1%). However, differences in the number of erythrocytes and leukocytes, the level of phagocytic and lysozyme activities, and the proportion of lymphocytes, monocytes, and polymorphonuclear cells were not statistically significant between the two groups. © Copyright by the American Fisheries Society 2005.