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J Vet Sci 2018; 19(3): 331-338  https://doi.org/10.4142/jvs.2018.19.3.331
Association between endotoxin levels in dust from indoor swine housing environments and the immune responses of pigs
Katharine Roque1, Kyung Min Shin1, Ji Hoon Jo1, Gyeong Dong Lim1, Eun Seob Song1, So Jung Shin1, Ravi Gautam1, Jae Hee Lee1, Yeon Gyeong Kim1, Ah Rang Cho1, Chang Yul Kim1, Hyun Ji Kim1, Myung Sook Lee2, Hyeong-Geu Oh2, Byung-Chul Lee2, Jung Hee Kim3, Kwang-Ho Kim3, Hyun Kyu Jeong3, Hyoung Ah Kim4,*, Yong Heo1,*
1Department of Occupational Health, College of Bio-Medical Sciences, Daegu Catholic University, Gyeongsan 38430, Korea
2Technology Services Division, National Institute of Animal Science, Wanju 55365, Korea
3Dodram Pig Farmer’s Cooperative, Veterinary Service Center, Daejeon 35352, Korea
4Department of Preventive Medicine, College of Medicine, The Catholic University of Korea, Seoul 06591, Korea
Correspondence to: Tel: +82-53-850-3737; Fax: +82-53-850-3736; E-mails: yheo@cu.ac.kr (Y Heo), kimha@catholic.ac.kr (HA Kim)
Received: November 6, 2017; Revised: January 8, 2018; Accepted: January 23, 2018; Published online: May 31, 2018.
Indoor animal husbandry environments are inevitably contaminated with endotoxins. Endotoxin exposure is associated with various inflammatory illnesses in animals. This cross-sectional study evaluated the relationship between the degree of endotoxin exposure and the cellular and humoral immune profiles of fattening pigs. Blood samples were taken from the jugular vein of 47 pigs from ten pig farms in Korea. Whole blood cell counts and plasma immunoglobulin (Ig) classes were determined. Peripheral-blood mononuclear cells were stimulated in vitro with concanavalin A for 48 h, and cytokines released into culture supernatants were measured. The barns in which the pigs lived were assessed for endotoxin levels in the total and respirable dust by using the limulus amebocyte lysate kinetic QCL method. Low and high endotoxin exposures were defined as ≤ 30 and > 30 EU/m3, respectively. Compared to pigs with low endotoxin exposure (n = 19), highly exposed pigs (n = 28) had higher circulating neutrophil and lymphocyte (particularly B cells) counts, IgG and IgE levels, interferon-gamma (IFNγ) and interleukin (IL)-4 productions, and lower IgA levels and tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNFα) production. The IL-4, IFNγ, and TNFα levels significantly correlated with endotoxin level and/or pig age. Constant exposure of pigs to high levels of airborne endotoxins can lead to aberrant immune profiles.
Keywords: cellular immunity, endotoxins, organic dust, swine

© 2018 The Korean Society of Veterinary Science.

This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0) which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.