Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Bee Venom May Stimulate Immune System

Effects of Bee Venom Treatment on Growth Performance of Young Pigs
The American Journal of Chinese Medicine (AJCM), Vol: 37 Issue: 2 (2009) Page: 253 - 260

This study examined the effect of whole bee venom (BV) as a potential stimulant of the piglet immune system, on growth performance, blood parameters, plasma protein and immune globulin content of serum.

Piglets (n = 97) received combinations of 0.5, 1.0, 1.5, 2.0 and 2.5 mg/kg of parenterally administered BV on 4 occasions between birth and Day 30…

Both the BV injection group and apipuncture group increased body weight and survivability by 26.6% and 21.8%, and 7.9% and 6.7% respectively compared to the controls. The numbers of leukocytes, erythrocytes, lymphocytes and monocytes were not influenced by treatments. However, a potential clinical benefit of high dose therapy was seen in increased populations of leukocytes, lymphocytes and monocytes compared with either the apipuncture or control groups.

Other blood parameters such as total protein and albumin were not affected by treatment. However, IgG levels were generally higher in treated groups than in the controls. These findings indicate that BV might be useful to stimulate immuno-competence in pig production, possibly via the primary bioactive components of melittin, phospholipase A2 and apamin.

The administration of BV, either via injection or acupuncture, did not make any differences in growth performance of young pigs. These results would be useful for further purification and characterization of immune boosting agents from BV.

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