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Contagious agalactiae (CA), caused by Mycoplasma agalactiae, is among the most significant diseases affecting small ruminants. CA is described as an endemic disease in the Mediterranean region, where it causes significant economic impact due to reduced milk production and increased lamb mortality rates (Nicholas 1995, Bergonier and others 1997).
Killed M agalactiae vaccine is used for the control of CA, but the level of acquired immunity is relatively low (Leon and others 1995). Immunotherapy as an adjunct to vaccine application may improve the resulting immune response. Various immunostimulant drugs, such as recombinant growth factors, cytokines, levamisole and beta-glucan, have been tested and used in veterinary and human medicine (Suzuki and others 1990, Qureshi and others 2000, Senturk and others 2003).
Levamisole has been used for the treatment of many nematode infections in animals. The immunostimulating activity of levamisole has been well documented in several experimental and clinical studies (Neveu 1970, Symoens and Rosenthal 1977, Sharma and others 1990, Obminska and Calkosinski 1994, Senturk and others 2003, Senturk and others 2009). It is hypothesised that levamisole restores cell-mediated immune function in peripheral T lymphocytes, and stimulates phagocytosis by monocytes (Barragy 1994). Sharma and others (1990) reported that haemorrhagic septicemia vaccination combined with the administration of levamisole hydrochloride resulted in higher serum antibody titres and longer-lasting immunity (Sharma and others 1990). One mode of action of levamisole is the promotion of T-cell activity and restoration of the activities of T-helper and T-suppressor cells (Gonsette and others 1982). Some studies have also indicated that the mode of action of levamisole as an immunomodulator is achieved by boosting cell-mediated immunity via the induction of type 1 cytokines (Szeto and others 2000). Additionally, Olusi and others (1979) reported that levamisole significantly restored the cell-mediated immune response in malnourished rats. Various animal and …