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J. Vet. Sci. 2014; 15(2): 249-258  https://doi.org/10.4142/jvs.2014.15.2.249
Equine hyperimmune serum protects mice against Clostridium difficile spore challenge
Weiwei Yan1, Kang-Soon Shin1, Shih-Jon Wang1,2, Hua Xiang1,3, Thomas Divers4, Sean McDonough5, James Bowman6, Anne Rowlands6, Bruce Akey1, Hussni Mohamed1, Yung-Fu Chang1,*
1Animal Health Diagnostic Center, Departments of Population Medicine and Diagnostic Sciences, 4Clinical Sciences, and 5Biomedical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853, USA, 2Department of Bioscience Technology, Chang Jung Christian University, Tainan 71101, Taiwan R.O.C.3Veterinary Institute, Guangdong Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Guangzhou 510640, China, 6Lake Immunogenics Inc., Ontario, NY 14519, USA
Received: March 8, 2013; Revised: August 1, 2013; Accepted: August 14, 2013
Clostridium (C.) difficile is a common cause of nosocomial diarrhea in horses. Vancomycin and metronidazole have been used as standard treatments but are only moderately effective, which highlights the need for a novel alternative therapy. In the current study, we prepared antiserum of equine origin against both C. difficile toxins A and B as well as whole-cell bacteria. The toxin-neutralizing activities of the antibodies were evaluated in vitro and the prophylactic effects of in vivo passive immunotherapy were demonstrated using a conventional mouse model. The data demonstrated that immunized horses generated antibodies against both toxins A and B that possessed toxin-neutralizing activity. Additionally, mice treated with the antiserum lost less weight without any sign of illness and regained weight back to a normal range more rapidly compared to the control group when challenged orally with 107 C. difficile spores 1 day after serum injection. These results indicate that intravenous delivery of hyperimmune serum can protect animals from C. difficile challenge in a dose-dependent manner. Hence, immunotherapy may be a promising prophylactic strategy for preventing C. difficile infection in horses.
Keywords: Clostridium difficile, colitis, equine, immunotherapy

© 2014 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/3.0) which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.