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Vaccine. 2009 Nov 5;27(47):6634-41. doi: 10.1016/j.vaccine.2009.03.051. Epub 2009 Apr 8.

Stimulation of tetanus toxoid-specific immune responses by a traditional Chinese herbal medicine.

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Department of Pathology, University of Melbourne, Parkville, Victoria 3010, Australia.


The immunomodulatory properties of botanical medicinals are well-documented. In this study, the capacity for the traditional Chinese herbal medicine, Rehmannia Six Formula (R6F), to stimulate anti-tetanus toxoid (TT) immunity following oral administration to mice was examined. A significant rise in serum anti-TT antibody levels were observed in R6F-treated mice immunized with a minimum immunogenic dose of 10 microg TT suggesting an oral adjuvant effect. No such enhancement was found for unimmunized mice treated with R6F. This anti-TT response was preferentially IgG and antigen-specific in relation to antibody reactivity to a panel of unrelated antigens. The R6F used was safe with no adverse effects on mouse weight or survival, providing evidence for the use of R6F as an oral adjuvant.

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