The social and physical environments of animals and man have long been implicated in the etiology of infectious diseases. However, controlled experiments on adverse social and environmental stimuli and animal health are meagre (Kelley 1980). Recently the term psychoimmunology was coined to reflect the growing interest in the relationship between stress, reduced immune function and illness. For more than a decade it has been known that prolonged secretion of stress hormones, particularly corticosteroids, contributes to regression of the lymphoid tissues (Selye 1974, Freeman 1975). Now it has been shown more specifically, that the level of secretory immunoglobulin A is reduced in periods of high stress and that the activity of lymphocytes and natural killer cells are significantly reduced after intense stress periods (Wood 1985). Although the relationship between stress and immunity thus seems to be clear, studies linking those to disease are still a rarity.
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Fabiansson, S., Rabe, J. & Olsson, NG. Influence of Amperozide on Disease Occurrence in a Pig Fattening Unit. Acta Vet Scand 27, 141–144 (1986). https://doi.org/10.1186/BF03548567