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Vet Immunol Immunopathol. 2008 Feb 15;121(3-4):364-9. Epub 2007 Oct 2.

Adult rabbits acquire resistance to lethal calicivirus infection by adoptive transfer of sera from infected young rabbits.

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Department of Anatomy, University of Porto, Largo Professor Abel Salazar 2, 4099-003 Porto, Portugal.


Calicivirus infection of adult rabbits induces the so-called rabbit haemorrhagic disease (RHD) that kills 90% or more of the infected animals; in contrast, young rabbits (up to 8-week-old animals) are resistant to the same infectious agent. We report that calicivirus inoculation of young rabbits induced moderate titres of antiviral antibodies. When these rabbits reached adulthood, a second calicivirus inoculation resulted in resistance to RHD and boosting of antibody titres in half of the rabbits. Adoptive transfer of sera from calicivirus-infected young rabbits to naïve adult rabbits conferred resistance to RHD. We conclude that calicivirus infection of young rabbits induces specific anti-calicivirus antibodies that will protect them from RHD when they reach adulthood.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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