Protection of animals against respiratory infections has long been known to depend on respiratory mucosal immunity. However, few studies have been reported on the immune response following intranasal (i.n.) immunisation with non-living, soluble antigens. This study determined the kinetics of the humoral and cellular immune responses in calves after i.n. immunisation with Limulus haemocyanin (LH) with cholera toxin adjuvant, or subcutaneous (s.c.) immunisation with LH in incomplete Freund's adjuvant. A proliferative response of peripheral blood mononuclear cells cultured in vitro with LH was observed in animals immunised 7-10 days after i.n. and s.c. immunisations with no significant differences between the two immunised groups. LH-specific antibody was present in the serum of animals immunised s.c. (IgM, IgG1 and IgG2) and i.n. (IgA). Although significant IgA responses were observed, i.n. immunisations in cattle with soluble protein antigens and cholera toxin as an adjuvant did not induce a strong systemic immune response.
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