Ginseng extract in aluminium hydroxide adjuvanted vaccines improves the antibody response of pigs to porcine parvovirus and Erysipelothrix rhusiopathiae

Vet Immunol Immunopathol. 2003 Jan 10;91(1):19-27. doi: 10.1016/s0165-2427(02)00269-6.


Ginseng, the dry extract prepared from the Panax ginseng C.A. Mayer-root contain immunomodulators named ginsenosides, which in the pig enhance the antibody response to viral and bacterial antigens. The enhancing effect of ginseng was demonstrated vaccinating pigs against porcine parvovirus (PPV) and Erysipelothrix rhusiopathiae infections, using commercially available vaccines. The potency of the licensed, aluminium hydroxide adjuvanted; vaccines were compared with those supplemented with ginseng. The antibody response to PPV was measured by the haemagglutination inhibition (HI) test whereas the mouse potency test and ELISA evaluated the immune response to E. rhusiopathiae. Antibodies to the 64-66 kDa glycoprotein of the E. rhusiopathiae were demonstrated by immunoblotting. The qualitative antibody responses were evaluated by means of ELISA(s) using monoclonal antibodies to swine IgG1 and IgG2. The addition of 2mg ginseng per vaccine dose, potentiate the antibody response of the commercial vaccines without altering their safety. Significantly higher (P<0.001) antibody titres were achieved to both PPV and to E. rhusiopathiae by the supplementation with ginseng. Aluminium hydroxide adjuvanted vaccines favoured the production of IgG1 antibodies. Interestingly, the vaccines supplemented with ginseng favoured IgG2. The vaccines used in the evaluations varied in their immunogenic potency. However, after the addition of ginseng the less immunogenic vaccine proved to be as potent as the better one without ginseng. Thus, the use of ginseng as a co-adjuvant provides a simple, safe and cheap alternative for improving the potency of aluminium hydroxide adjuvanted vaccines.

MeSH terms

  • Adjuvants, Immunologic / pharmacology*
  • Aluminum Hydroxide / pharmacology*
  • Animals
  • Antibodies, Bacterial / blood
  • Antibodies, Viral / blood
  • Bacterial Vaccines / immunology*
  • Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay
  • Erysipelothrix / immunology*
  • Female
  • Hemagglutination Inhibition Tests
  • Mice
  • Panax*
  • Parvovirus, Porcine / immunology*
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology*
  • Swine
  • Viral Vaccines / immunology*


  • Adjuvants, Immunologic
  • Antibodies, Bacterial
  • Antibodies, Viral
  • Bacterial Vaccines
  • Plant Extracts
  • Viral Vaccines
  • Aluminum Hydroxide