The effect of doxycycline treatment on the postvaccinal immune response in pigs

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Abstract

The effect of a seven-day antibiotic therapy with doxycycline was investigated on the postvaccinal humoral and cellular immune response in pigs. The selected parameters of non-specific immunity were also studied. Fifty pigs were used (control not vaccinated (C, n = 10), control vaccinated (CV, n = 20), and experimental — received doxycycline (DOXY, n = 20)). For vaccination live-attenuated vaccine against pseudorabies (PR) was used. From day −1 to day 5 pigs from DOXY group received doxycycline orally with drinking water, at the recommended dose. Pigs from DOXY and CV groups were vaccinated at 8 and 10 weeks of age. The results of the present study showed that cell-mediated postvaccinal immune response can be modulated by oral treatment with doxycycline. Significantly lower values of stimulation index were observed after PRV restimulation in doxycycline-treated pigs. Moreover, in the DOXY group a significant decrease in IFN-γ production after PRV restimulation was noted. The significantly lower number of CD4+CD8+ cells was also observed in doxy-treated, vaccinated pigs, 2 weeks after final vaccination. Simultaneously, specific humoral response was not disturbed. This study demonstrated the importance of defining the immune modulatory activity of doxycycline because it may alter the immune responses to vaccines. The exact mechanism of T-cell response suppression by doxycycline remains to be elucidated, however the influence of doxycycline on the secretion of various cytokines, including IFN-γ, may be considered as a possible cause. The present observations should prompt further studies on the practical significance of such phenomena in terms of clinical implications.

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