Earlier, we reported that pathogen-associated molecular patterns such as lipopolysaccharide (LPS), when administered intratracheally (i.t.), affected primary and secondary specific antibody responses to antigens administered concurrently, either i.t. or systemically, and also affected BW gain (BWG) of layers and broilers. In the present study, we evaluated the effects of repeated i.t. challenge with LPS concurrently with or before i.t. immunizations with the specific antigens human serum albumin (HuSA) and rabbit gamma globulin (RGG) on primary (HuSA, RGG) and secondary (HuSA) systemic antibody responses and (isotype) IgM and IgG responses at 2 different ages. Broilers were challenged via the trachea at 3 and 7 wk of age with various combinations of LPS, HuSA, and RGG. All treatments affected immune responses at several time points and also affected BWG, albeit temporarily for the latter. Lipopolysaccharide enhanced primary antibody responses to HuSA and to RGG, when challenged concurrently, but birds challenged solely with LPS at 3 wk of age also showed enhanced primary antibody responses to HuSA and RGG given at 7 wk of age. This was true for IgM as well as IgG isotype responses. Lipopolysaccharide challenge negatively affected BWG at 3 wk of age, whereas the negative effects of LPS after a secondary LPS challenge at 7 wk of age were most pronounced in the birds challenged with LPS at 3 wk of age. The present results indicated that LPS, when administered i.t. at a young age, may affect specific humoral immune responsiveness to antigens administered simultaneously and to BWG of broilers, but also when challenged 4 wk later with specific antigens, suggesting an enhanced status of immune reactivity or sensitivity. The hygienic status of broiler houses at a young age may thus influence BWG, immune responsiveness, and, consequently, the vaccine efficacy and disease resistance in broilers at later ages. The consequences of our findings are discussed.
- toll-like receptors
- dendritic cells