Mahurin Honors College Capstone Experience/Thesis Projects


Honors Academy- (Honors Self-Design Major)

Document Type



Based on research by Fritsche (1991), Kelley (1988), and Caruso and Jeska (1990), it has been postulated that the addition of omega-3 fatty acids to the diet enhances the immune response of several species. This study was an attempt to ascertain the effects of addition of dietary omega-3 fatty acids in the form of ground flax contained in Omega Gold on the immune response of swine. The goal of this study was twofold: to determine the effects of ground flax on the humoral immunity of young pigs, and to differentiate between effects gained from enhancement of passive and active immunity. The experiment was performed in two stages. Sows and pigs were randomly separated into treatment groups such that all possible treatment combinations were obtained. Ground flax was introduced into the experimental rations at a 4% concentration for sows and a 2% concentration for weanling pigs. Prior to the initiation of each stage of the trial, blood samples were collected from each animal to determine baseline titer levels to Pasteurella multocida (Serotype A) and sheep red blood cells. Each animal was given two injections of each antigen to stimulate a secondary immune response, and blood samples were collected to determine the secondary immune response in sows and experimental pigs. Pigs were weighed at the beginning and end of each trial to determine average daily gain while on the test. Samples were analyzed by serum agglutination, with titer measured as the reciprocal of the highest dilution at which agglutination occurred. The titer values were converted to 1092 to normalize the distribution. The General Linear Models procedure of the Statistical Analysis Services was used to analyze these data and Duncan's Multiple Range test was used to separate treatment means.

Advisor(s) or Committee Chair

Dr. Gordon F. Jones


Animal Sciences