Effect of Immunization Schedule on Immunoglobulin Response in the Atlantic Bottlenose Dolphin (Tursiops Truncatus)
IAAAM 1991
Rhonda A. Patterson, BS; Bobby L. Middlebrooks, PhD; Mobashir A. Solangi, PhD

The primary and secondary immunoglobulin response of four Atlantic bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) immunized by intramuscular injection with bovine serum albumin (10 mg/2 ml) saline was evaluated using an ELISA. Two of the dolphins were administered four injections at weekly intervals with a booster at three months. Specific immunoglobulins could be detected by day six with a peak at day 35. From day 35 to 63 the levels remained relatively constant and then decreased slowly until by day 83 it was 80% of the maximum level. Following the booster (day 83) specific immunoglobulin levels increased within three days to the same level as at day 35. This level was maintained through day 140 when it started to decrease reaching 60% of the maximum level by day 187.

The remaining two dolphins were administered an injection at day zero and at day 91. Specific immunoglobulins could be detected at day 20 with a rapid rise to the maximum levels at day 43. This level dropped to 17% of the maximum within 7 days and then continued to decrease at a slower rate to reach the baseline level by day 64. After the booster injection the response reached a level equal to the primary maximum within 14 days and remained at that level through day 120. It then decreased slowly until it reached 50% of the maximum by day 183. The data indicate that an immunization schedule with two injections was capable of maintaining an immunoglobulin response similar to that of a five injection schedule.

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Rhonda A. Patterson, BS, PhD
Department of Biological Sciences
The University of Southern Mississippi
Hattiesburg, MS, USA

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