Send to

Choose Destination
J Vet Sci. 2018 May 31;19(3):331-338. doi: 10.4142/jvs.2018.19.3.331.

Association between endotoxin levels in dust from indoor swine housing environments and the immune responses of pigs.

Author information

Department of Occupational Health, College of Bio-Medical Sciences, Daegu Catholic University, Gyeongsan 38430, Korea.
Technology Services Division, National Institute of Animal Science, Wanju 55365, Korea.
Dodram Pig Farmer's Cooperative, Veterinary Service Center, Daejeon 35352, Korea.
Department of Preventive Medicine, College of Medicine, The Catholic University of Korea, Seoul 06591, Korea.


Indoor animal husbandry environments are inevitably contaminated with endotoxins. Endotoxin exposure is associated with various inflammatory illnesses in animals. This cross-sectional study evaluated the relationship between the degree of endotoxin exposure and the cellular and humoral immune profiles of fattening pigs. Blood samples were taken from the jugular vein of 47 pigs from ten pig farms in Korea. Whole blood cell counts and plasma immunoglobulin (Ig) classes were determined. Peripheral-blood mononuclear cells were stimulated in vitro with concanavalin A for 48 h, and cytokines released into culture supernatants were measured. The barns in which the pigs lived were assessed for endotoxin levels in the total and respirable dust by using the limulus amebocyte lysate kinetic QCL method. Low and high endotoxin exposures were defined as ≤ 30 and > 30 EU/m³, respectively. Compared to pigs with low endotoxin exposure (n = 19), highly exposed pigs (n = 28) had higher circulating neutrophil and lymphocyte (particularly B cells) counts, IgG and IgE levels, interferon-gamma (IFNγ) and interleukin (IL)-4 productions, and lower IgA levels and tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNFα) production. The IL-4, IFNγ, and TNFα levels significantly correlated with endotoxin level and/or pig age. Constant exposure of pigs to high levels of airborne endotoxins can lead to aberrant immune profiles.


cellular immunity; endotoxins; organic dust; swine

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for The Korean Society of Veterinary Science Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center