Hyperimmune serum from rabbits immunized with potassium thiocyanate extract of Pasteurella multocida protects against homologous challenge

Y. S. Lu, S. P. Pakes, L. Massey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Hyperimmune rabbit sera directed to the KSCN extract of 3:A Pasteurella multocida were characterized by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), presolubilized cell radioimmunoprecipitation, and immunoblotting analysis. The results showed that the hyperimmune serum had a very high titer of immunoglobulin G ELISA antibody and a negligible immunoglobulin A ELISA antibody, precipitated 10 different outer membrane protein antigens by radioimmunoprecipitation, and reacted to 10 different membrane vesicle antigens of P. multocida by immunoblotting analysis. The hyperimmune rabbit sera were also evaluated for protective efficacy against experimental rabbit pasteurellosis by homologous challenge. Thirty-six rabbits were divided into four groups. Group 1, 2, and 3 rabbits were inoculated intranasally with hyperimmune rabbit serum, phosphate-buffered saline, or normal rabbit serum, respectively, at 24 h prior to and 24, 48, and 72 h after intranasal challenge with the virulent homologous P, multocida strain. Group 4 rabbits were inoculated with normal rabbit serum without challenge. Necropsies of surviving rabbits were performed 2 weeks postinfection. The mortality rates for groups 1 through 4 were 25% (3 of 12), 67% (8 of 12), 75% (6 of 8), and 0% (0 of 4), respectively. The prevalence and severity of pneumonia were significantly lower in the hyperimmune serum-treated rabbits. The prevalence of P. multocida colonization in lungs was significantly lower in group 1 rabbits, and the geometric mean CFU of P. multocida in lungs was 59,166-fold less in group 1 rabbits than in group 3 rabbits. The geometric mean CFU of P. multocida in nasal cavities of group 1 rabbits was significantly lower than that of group 3 rabbits. All challenged rabbits (groups 1, 2, and 3) had elevated nasal immunoglobulin A and pulmonary (lung lavage) immunoglobulin A antibody levels at necropsy (day 14 postinfection). Similarly, all challenged rabbits had elevated levels of ELISA immunoglobulin G antibody in serum at day 14 but not at day 7 postinfection, indicating that rabbits receiving hyperimmune serum can mount a specific humoral immune response against the homologous challenge P. multocida organisms. We concluded that hyperimmune serum directed to the KSCN extract of 3:A P. multocida provides significant protection against homologous challenge in rabbits.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2173-2180
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of clinical microbiology
Issue number11
StatePublished - 1987

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology (medical)


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