Interaction between anthelmintic treatment and vaccine responses in ponies naturally infected with cyathostomins

M. K. Nielsen, E. F. Rubinson, T. M. Chambers, D. W. Horohov, B. Wagner, A. Betancourt, S. E. Reedy, S. Jacobsen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Anthelmintics and vaccines are commonly given concurrently in routine equine management, but it is unknown to what extent an interaction between the two exists. Cyathostomins can modulate the local immune response by stimulating a type 2 helper T cell (Th2) response. In addition, anti-inflammatory effects of ivermectin have been found in rodent models. It is unknown whether these anti-inflammatory effects affect the acute phase response elicited by commonly used vaccines. This study evaluated how the acute phase inflammatory response, leukocyte expression of pro-inflammatory cytokines, and vaccine-specific titers induced by simultaneous injection of three vaccines (West Nile Virus, Equine Herpes Rhinopneumonitis, and Keyhole Limpet Hemocyanin) were modulated by concurrent administration of ivermectin or pyrantel pamoate in ponies naturally infected with cyathostomins. Mixed-breed yearling ponies were blocked by gender and fecal strongyle egg count, then randomly assigned to three treatment groups: ivermectin (n= 8), pyrantel pamoate (n= 8), and control (n= 7). All ponies received vaccinations intramuscularly on days 0 and 29, and anthelmintics were administered on the same days. Whole blood, serum and plasma samples were collected one, three and 14 days after each vaccination. Samples were analyzed for concentrations of acute phase reactants (haptoglobin, serum amyloid A, fibrinogen and iron), mRNA expression levels of cytokines (interleukin (IL)-1β, IL-4, IL-10, tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α and interferon (IFN)-γ) in leukocytes, and vaccine-specific antibody titers. A marked acute-phase response was noted following both vaccinations. In contrast, the pattern of change in cytokine expression was less pronounced and more variable. Statistical differences were observed between groups for haptoglobin, fibrinogen, IL-1β, IL-4, and IL-10, but differences were generally small and none of the vaccine titers were different between the groups. Taken together, the study found some signs of modulation of immunologic or inflammatory responses to the administered vaccines, when anthelmintics were administered concurrently, but these are unlikely to have practical implications for vaccination routines.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)110-117
Number of pages8
JournalVeterinary Immunology and Immunopathology
Issue number3-4
StatePublished - Apr 15 2015

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 Elsevier B.V.


  • Anthelmintic
  • Cytokines
  • Equine
  • Inflammation
  • Modulation
  • Vaccination

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology
  • General Veterinary


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