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Open Access Cationic Liposome–Oligonucleotide Complex as an Alternative Adjuvant for Polyclonal Antibody Production in New Zealand White Rabbits (Oryctolagus cuniculus)

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Because of their ideal size and temperament, rabbits are commonly used in polyclonal antibody production. Immunostimulatory adjuvants—such as Freund complete and incomplete adjuvants as well as various proprietary products—trigger a robust immune response, which increases antibody concentrations. However, these adjuvants can cause excessive soft tissue reactions, prompting concerns regarding animal wellbeing. This study assessed the safety and efficacy of cationic liposome– oligonucleotide complexes (CLDC) as an alternative adjuvant to conventional adjuvants. On days 0 and 14, 15 female New Zealand white rabbits were vaccinated subcutaneously with 15 μg ovalbumin mixed with either CLDC, Freund adjuvant (day 0, complete; day 14, incomplete), or a proprietary adjuvant (n = 5 per group). Antibody titers were measured by direct ELISA on days 0, 14, and 28. Rabbits were palpated daily for lesion development, and all lesions were measured. Rabbits in all groups developed a significant antibody response to ovalbumin over 28 d. However, the differences between groups were not statistically significant. No rabbits in the CLDC group developed skin lesions, whereas 80% of rabbits that received Freund adjuvant and 100% of those that received the proprietary product developed skin lesions. This study demonstrates that CLDC may be a valuable and effective alternative adjuvant for polyclonal antibody production in rabbits—one that avoids the palpable injection-site lesions often seen with other adjuvants.

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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Laboratory Animal Resources, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado;, Email: [email protected] 2: Department of Laboratory Animal Resources, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado 3: Department of Microbiology, Immunology, and Pathology, College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado 4: Department of Laboratory Animal Resources, Department of Microbiology, Immunology, and Pathology, College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado

Publication date: December 1, 2017

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  • Comparative Medicine (CM), an international journal of comparative and experimental medicine, is the leading English-language publication in the field and is ranked by the Science Citation Index in the upper third of all scientific journals. The mission of CM is to disseminate high-quality, peer-reviewed information that expands biomedical knowledge and promotes human and animal health through the study of laboratory animal disease, animal models of disease, and basic biologic mechanisms related to disease in people and animals.

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