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Immunology. 1991 Nov;74(3):461-6.

Immunopotentiation of bovine herpes virus subunit vaccination by interleukin-2.

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Veterinary Infectious Disease Organization, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada.


Cattle were immunized with glycoprotein IV (gIV) from bovine herpes virus-1 (BHV-1). Groups of five animals were then given either 2, 3, 4, or 5 doses of interleukin-2 (IL-2) (0.5 microgram/kg) at 12-hr intervals. Animals that received no IL-2 exhibited specific immune responses that are typical for BHV-1 infection, i.e. enhanced specific cytotoxicity, lymphocyte proliferative responses to gIV, and increased gIV-specific (ELISA) and virus-neutralizing antibodies. Treatment of animals with five doses of IL-2 significantly augmented all of these responses except serum neutralization (P less than 0.05). Furthermore, the dose of IL-2 that was selected did not induce any non-specific responses, i.e. hypergamma-globulinaemia, changes in blood chemistry, increased lymphokine-activated killer (LAK) cell activity, changes in mitogen responsiveness or alterations in the phenotypic profile of circulating lymphocytes. Nor were there any clinical changes associated with IL-2 therapy (e.g. depression, pyrexia, diarrhea). Animals that were treated with less than five doses of IL-2 also exhibited elevated immune responses, but they were not significantly different from untreated immunized controls. Interestingly, animals given five doses of IL-2 responded to minor contaminants present in the gIV preparation. This allows speculation that this dose regimen of IL-2 is not only a potent adjuvant for conventional vaccine immunizing doses, but will also allow the use of minute quantities of antigen for immunization.

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