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Anim Reprod Sci. 2009 Oct;115(1-4):88-102. doi: 10.1016/j.anireprosci.2008.11.011. Epub 2008 Nov 20.

Suppression of testicular function and sexual behavior by vaccination against GnRH (Equity) in the adult stallion.

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Clinic for Reproductive Medicine, University of Zürich, Winterthurerstrasse 260, CH-8057 Zürich, Switzerland.


The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of an anti-GnRH vaccine on testosterone concentration, antibody titer, scrotal width, semen quality and sexual behavior in the stallion. Adverse reactions to the vaccine were also determined. Eight clinically healthy sexually experienced stallions aged between 6 and 15 years from the National Stud in Avenches (Switzerland) were used. Five stallions were immunized 3 times at an interval of 4 and 8 weeks, respectively, with 200 microg of a GnRH-protein conjugate (Equity, CSL Limited, Australia) intramuscularly in the neck and 3 control animals received an equivalent volume of saline solution. Plasma testosterone concentrations and GnRH antibody titers as well as semen quality and libido were determined weekly during 1 year (52 weeks). In addition, scrotal width was measured in all stallions before and 4, 8 as well as 12 months after first vaccination. Our results demonstrate that in 4 stallions plasma testosterone started to decrease after the second vaccination and remained suppressed for at least 6 months whereas one stallion showed no effect. Until the end of the experiment 2 stallions reached prevaccination testosterone values. Antibody titers varied individually in all 5 stallions and reached peak concentrations within 2 weeks after the third vaccination. Scrotal width was significantly (P<0.05) lower in vaccinated than in control stallions 8 months after first vaccination. Semen quality started to decreased after the second vaccination and improved towards the end of the experiment. In 4 stallions libido was clearly reduced after the second immunization but normalized in 2 animals before the end of the study while 2 stallions continued to show poor libido. From our results we conclude that three immunizations with Equity are well tolerated in the stallion and may effectively suppress testosterone secretion and reduce semen quality as well as sexual behavior. The inhibiting activity of Equity on these parameters is individually different and may last for a minimum of 6 months.

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