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Vet Microbiol. 2003 Aug 29;95(1-2):121-32.

Duration of immunity in dogs vaccinated against leptospirosis with a bivalent inactivated vaccine.

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  • 1Department of Bacteriological R&D, Intervet International BV, PO Box 31, 5830 AA Boxmeer, The Netherlands.


Duration of immunity in dogs induced with current commercial inactivated leptospirosis vaccines and evaluated against experimental infection, to date, has hardly been documented. The purpose of the present work was to assess the duration of immunity in dogs that is attainable with a commercial inactivated bivalent leptospirosis vaccine. For this purpose, young dogs were vaccinated twice followed by challenge with either Leptospira interrogans serovar canicola or L. interrogans serovar icterohaemorrhagiae 5 weeks, 27 weeks or 56 weeks after the second vaccination. For assessment of the duration of immunity, titres of agglutinating serum antibodies were measured before and after challenge, and the effects of challenge on a variety of parameters were determined including reisolation of challenge organisms from blood, urine and kidney. Both challenge strains induced a generalised infection in control dogs, the canicola strain being most virulent. From the results with different parameters it appeared that the two vaccinations induced a high rate of protection from generalised infection with canicola and icterohaemorrhagiae at 5, 27 and 56 weeks after the second vaccination. In addition, after 56 weeks, still a high level of immunity against renal infection with sv. canicola and, as a consequence, urinary shedding of sv. canicola bacteria, was demonstrated. It was, therefore, concluded that with this vaccine, using this vaccination schedule, a duration of immunity of 1 year can be attained against infection with both serovars.

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