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Vet Rec. 1988 Feb 6;122(6):125-8.

Duration of circulating antibody and immunity following infection with equine influenza virus.

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  • 1Equine Virology Unit, Animal Health Trust, Newmarket, Suffolk.


The duration of immunity as measured by virological, serological and clinical responses following infection with influenza A/equine/Newmarket/79 (H3N8) was assessed in repeated challenge experiments in which ponies were infected by exposure to aerosols of infectious virus. Previous infection stimulated complete clinical protection which persisted for at least 32 weeks as demonstrated by the absence of febrile responses and coughing in two groups of ponies infected 16 weeks or 32 weeks after the first infection. Partial clinical protection persisted for over a year as demonstrated by the absence of coughing and a reduction in the number of febrile responses in a group of ponies infected 62 weeks after their first infection. These results contrasted with those observed in immunologically naive control ponies which developed pyrexia, dyspnoea and nasal discharge and coughing. The kinetics of virus specific antibody production in primary and secondary infections with equine influenza were studied by the single radial haemolysis test and a radioisotopic antiglobulin binding assay which measured virus specific IgGab antibody isotype. Antibody to the haemagglutinin, as measured by the single radial haemolysis test, declined rapidly after primary infection whereas the IgGab responses to whole virus antigens persisted for longer. The single radial haemolysis test was therefore particularly useful for the detection of antibody responses in multiple infections or exposures to influenza antigens. The radioisotopic antiglobulin binding assay was more sensitive for identifying infections which had occurred more than six months previously, as evidenced by anamnestic IgGab responses in ponies with low levels of antibody before rechallenge.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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