Immune response in fishes, which are ectothermic animals, depends on temperature. The optimum response is at the optimum temperature for the species. It is, however, slower in coldwater fishes, such as salmonids, and faster in warmwater fishes.
Serum of fishes contains proteins very similar, but not identical, with those of mammals. Immune bodies are contained in gamma, beta, and alpha globulins. Gamma globulin is absent in some fishes. Fishes can be effectively immunized by injection of antigens, however, this is not a practical method. For this reason oral immunization has been attempted repeatedly but the effectiveness is variable.