It addition to their antimicrobial properties, antibiotics can influence the host immune system (modulation of cytokine secretion, antibody production and T-cell proliferation). In the present study, the authors studied the effects of therapeutic doses of amoxicillin (AMX), ceftiofur (CEF), doxycycline (DOXY), tiamulin (TIAM) and tulathromycin (TUL) on the postvaccinal immune response after pigs had been vaccinated against erysipelas. Because humoral immunity is considered as the most important in the protection against swine erysipelas, the present study focused on the interactions between antibiotics and postvaccinal humoral immunity. One hundred and five, eight-week-old pigs of both sexes were used. Specific antibodies to the Erysipelothrix rhusiopathiae antigen were determined using a commercial ELISA test. In pigs treated with DOXY or CEF or TIAM, a significant reduction in the number of positive pigs was observed four and six weeks after the second dose of vaccine, compared with the remaining vaccinated groups. In pigs treated with CEF, the ELISA score was significantly lower than in non-treated vaccinated pigs. While in vaccinated pigs treated with AMX or TUL, the ELISA score was significantly higher than in pigs treated with the remaining antibiotics and than in non-treated vaccinated controls. The results of the present study indicate that vaccination of pigs against erysipelas in the presence of antibiotics may result in a decrease (CEF, DOXY, TIAM) or enhancement (AMX, TUL) in the production of specific antibodies.
- humoral response