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Vaccine. 1998 Jul;16(11-12):1074-82.

New GnRH-like peptide construct to optimize efficient immunocastration of male pigs by immunoneutralization of GnRH.

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  • 1Department of Molecular Recognition ID-DLO Institute for Animal Science and Health, Lelystad, The Netherlands.


Castration of male pigs is routinely performed in order to prevent the occurrence of boar taint in pig carcasses. However, boar taint can also be eliminated by immunological castration using a synthetic peptide vaccine against GnRH. For pig farming, to make immunocastration a feasible alternative method to surgical castration, the composition of the vaccine has to be not only reliable and effective but also cost-efficient and safe. Previously the authors have developed an effective immunocastration vaccine by replacing the monomer GnRH by a much more immunogenic tandem peptide. However, this tandem-GnRH vaccine preparation needs Complete Freund's adjuvant and to be applied at a relatively high dose. Therefore, alternative antigens were designed to cope with this problem and tested with different adjuvants and dosages. An effective new antigen was designed based on a GnRH-tandem peptide, which was dimerized and modified in one amino acid position of the decapeptide to allow conjugation of this tandem-dimer to ovalbumin. In mild adjuvants and in low dosage, this antigen was very effective in reducing testis weight, serum LH and androstenone level in backfat. Thus, an improved immunocastration vaccine has been designed that is relatively cost-efficient and highly efficacious in two vaccinations at low dose.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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