A method for investigating the humoral immune response in mink (Mustela vison) was developed between October 1993 and March 1994. Protein A, 1:8000 dilution, had a high affinity for mink immunoglobulin, while anti-ferret (Mustela putorius) antibody, 1:200 dilution, had a weaker affinity. Four adult mink were immunized with a hapten, dinitrophenol (DNP), conjugated to a large carrier protein, keyhole limpet hemocyanin (KLH), and received two boosters at 3-week intervals. This provoked a strong T-lymphocyte dependent humoral immune response. An indirect enzyme linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) was used to quantify the antibody produced. All mink had undetectable anti-DNP-KLH antibody in the pre-immune sera, with antibody levels increasing post-immunization, and peaking after the first or second booster.
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Vol. 32 • No. 2