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Florfenicol is a broad-spectrum bacteriostatic antibiotic commonly used for the treatment of systemic infections in farm animals. The aim of this study was to determine the effect of florfenicol on the percentage of T lymphocytes (CD3+, CD4+, CD8+, TCRgd+ cells) and B lymphocytes (Bu-1+ cells) and on total serum anti - sheep red blood cell (SRBC) haemagglutinin titer in the peripheral blood of SRBC–immunized broiler chickens. The study included three groups of broiler chickens differentiated by weight (0.5, 1.2, 2.4 kg). Florfenicol was administered orally at a dose of 30 mg/kg. The drug was administered eight times at 24 h intervals. The chickens were immunized with SRBC 24 h after administration of the third dose of florfenicol. Florfenicol increased the percentage of CD3+ blood lymphocytes with a corresponding decrease in the percentage of B lymphocytes in birds weighing 0.5 and 2.4 kg. Florfenicol reduced the production of total anti SRBC-haemagglutinins on day 5 after antigen injection in all three body weight groups of the broiler chickens. In conclusion, florfenicol exerted a modulating effect on the immune response of the birds and this should be taken into consideration when using this antibiotic for certain indications.
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