Optimizing selection of large animals for antibody production by screening immune response to standard vaccines

J Immunol Methods. 2016 Mar:430:56-60. doi: 10.1016/j.jim.2016.01.006. Epub 2016 Jan 9.


Antibodies made in large animals are integral to many biomedical research endeavors. Domesticated herd animals like goats, sheep, donkeys, horses and camelids all offer distinct advantages in antibody production. However, their cost of use is often prohibitive, especially where poor antigen response is commonplace; choosing a non-responsive animal can set a research program back or even prevent experiments from moving forward entirely. Over the course of production of antibodies from llamas, we found that some animals consistently produced a higher humoral antibody response than others, even to highly divergent antigens, as well as to their standard vaccines. Based on our initial data, we propose that these "high level responders" could be pre-selected by checking antibody titers against common vaccines given to domestic farm animals. Thus, time and money can be saved by reducing the chances of getting poor responding animals and minimizing the use of superfluous animals.

Keywords: Antibody generation; Antigen; Camelid antibody; Immunization; Vaccine.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antibodies, Viral / blood*
  • Antibody Formation*
  • Camelids, New World / immunology*
  • Female
  • Green Fluorescent Proteins / immunology
  • Luminescent Proteins / immunology
  • Male
  • Rabies Vaccines / immunology*
  • Rabies virus / immunology
  • Red Fluorescent Protein
  • Sheep
  • Vaccination / veterinary


  • Antibodies, Viral
  • Luminescent Proteins
  • Rabies Vaccines
  • Green Fluorescent Proteins