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Vet Immunol Immunopathol. 2011 May 15;141(1-2):124-7. doi: 10.1016/j.vetimm.2011.01.015. Epub 2011 Mar 5.

Effect of Propionibacterium acnes-containing immunostimulant on interferon-gamma (IFNγ) production in the neonatal foal.

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  • 1Maxwell H. Gluck Equine Research Center, Department of Veterinary Science, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY 40546-0099, USA.


Production of the Th1 cytokine interferon gamma (IFNγ) is associated with resistance to intracellular pathogens, including Rhodococcus equi. While neonatal foals are initially deficient in IFNγ production, expression of this cytokine increases throughout their first year of life. This is presumably the result of stimulation by environmental antigens including pathogen associated molecular patterns (PAMPS) signaling through toll-like receptors (TLR). This increased expression of IFNγ is likewise associated with an age-related resistance to R. equi infection. While immunostimulants containing PAMPS have been administered to adult horses in an attempt to modify their immune response, the effect of these materials on IFNγ expression in foals is unknown. The main objective of this study was to determine the effect of administering a commercial immunomostimulant EqStim® (Propionibacterium acnes) on IFNγ production measured using intracellular staining (IFNγ) and RT-PCR.

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