Article ID: 14-0226
Canine distemper virus (CDV) is a morbillivirus known to cause morbidity and mortality in a broad range of animals. Giant pandas (Ailuropoda melanoleuca), especially captive ones, are susceptible to natural infection with CDV. Interleukin-18 (IL-18) is a powerful adjuvant molecule that can enhance the development of antigen-specific immunity and vaccine efficacy. In this study, a giant panda IL-18 gene eukaryotic expression plasmid (pcAmIL-18) was constructed. Female BALB/c mice were muscularly inoculated with the plasmids pcAmIL-18, pcDNA3.1 and PBS, respectively. They were subsequently injected with an attenuated CDV vaccine for dogs, and the induced humoral and cellular responses were evaluated. The results showed that pcAmIL-18 remarkably improved the level of specific antibody, IFN-γ and IL-2 in mice sera, the T lymphocyte proliferation index and the percentage of CD4+ and CD8+ cells. These data indicated that pcAmIL-18 is a potential adjuvant that promotes specific immunity.