Immune response modulation to DPT vaccine by aqueous extract of Withania somnifera in experimental system

Int Immunopharmacol. 2004 Jun;4(6):841-9. doi: 10.1016/j.intimp.2004.03.005.


Immunopotentiation on oral feeding of standardized aqueous extract of Withania somnifera (Linn. Dunal, Family Solanaceae) was evaluated in laboratory animals immunized with DPT (Diphtheria, Pertussis, Tetanus) vaccine. The immunostimulation was evaluated using serological and hematological parameters. Treatment of immunized animals with test material (100 mg/kg/day) for 15 days resulted in significant increase of antibody titers to B. pertussis (P=0.000007). Immunized animals (treated and untreated) were challenged with B. pertussis 18,323 strain and the animals were observed for 14 days. Results indicate that the treated animals did show significant increase in antibody titers as compared to untreated animals after challenge (P=0.000003). Immunoprotection against intracerebral challenge of live B. pertussis cells was evaluated based on degree of sickness, paralysis and subsequent death. Reduced mortality accompanied with overall improved health status was observed in treated animals after intracerebral challenge of B. pertussis indicating development of protective immune response. Present study indicates application of the test material as potential immunopotentiating agent possible applications in immunochemical industry. The test material also offers direct therapeutic benefits resulting in reduced morbidity and mortality of experimental animals.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antibodies, Bacterial / analysis
  • Antibodies, Bacterial / biosynthesis
  • Blood Cell Count
  • Chromatography, Thin Layer
  • Diphtheria-Tetanus-Pertussis Vaccine / pharmacology*
  • Female
  • Immunologic Factors / pharmacology*
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology
  • Plant Roots / chemistry
  • Water
  • Whooping Cough / immunology
  • Whooping Cough / mortality
  • Whooping Cough / prevention & control
  • Withania / chemistry*


  • Antibodies, Bacterial
  • Diphtheria-Tetanus-Pertussis Vaccine
  • Immunologic Factors
  • Plant Extracts
  • Water