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Vet Microbiol. 2010 May 19;142(3-4):420-6. doi: 10.1016/j.vetmic.2009.10.017. Epub 2009 Oct 28.

Controversial results of the genetic analysis of a canine distemper vaccine strain.

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Department of Pathology and Forensic Veterinary Medicine, Szent István University, Faculty of Veterinary Science, Budapest, Hungary.


Canine distemper (CD) is a highly contagious, often fatal, multisystemic viral disease of receptive carnivores. The presence of a PsiI cleavage site on a specific location of the hemagglutinin (H) gene was found to be a hallmark of vaccine strains, thus, a previously published restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) test using PsiI theoretically allows the distinction between all currently used vaccine strains and virulent field strains. The RFLP test was carried out on all brands of CD vaccines available in Hungary. The present work describes the extensive sequencing and phylogenetic study of the strain present in Vanguard (Pfizer Animal Health) vaccines, which following the PsiI based RFLP test reacted as a wild-type strain. Based on the product description provided by the manufacturer, all batches should have contained a virus strain (Snyder Hill) belonging to the group of vaccine strains (America-1). Extensive genetic analysis involving the full nucleic acid sequence of four other genes (N, M, P and F) of the CDV genome revealed that the incriminated virus strain showed a higher level of genetic identity to wild-type strains from the America-2 group than to any of the strains belonging to America-1 group, therefore the vaccine does not contain the virus strain stated by the manufacturer in its product description and has not been containing it since at least 1992.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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