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Vet Microbiol. 1995 Jul;45(2-3):129-38.

The protective efficacy of cloned Moraxella bovis pili in monovalent and multivalent vaccine formulations against experimentally induced infectious bovine keratoconjunctivitis (IBK).

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CSIRO Division of Animal Health, Animal Health Research Laboratory, Parkville, Vic., Australia.


Calves were vaccinated with cloned Moraxella bovis pili of serogroup C (experiment 1) or B (experiment 2) either as a monovalent formulation or as part of a multivalent preparation with pili of six other serogroups. Within 4 weeks of the second vaccine dose vaccinated calves and non-vaccinated controls were challenged via the ocular route with either virulent M. bovis strain Dal2d (serogroup C) or M. bovis strain 3WO7 (serogroup B) in experiments 1 and 2, respectively. Calves vaccinated with multivalent vaccines had significantly lower antibody titres than those vaccinated with monovalent preparations. Nevertheless, the levels of protection against infectious bovine keratoconjunctivitis (IBK) achieved with multivalent vaccines were 72% and 83% for the groups challenged with M. bovis strains of serogroups B and C, respectively. The serogroup C monovalent vaccine gave 100% protection against experimentally induced IBK and M. bovis isolates cultured from the eyes 6 days post-challenge were identified as belonging solely to serogroup C. Unexpectedly, only 25% protection was achieved against homologous strain challenge of calves that received the monovalent serogroup B vaccine. Furthermore, the majority of M. bovis isolates recovered from calves in this group belonged to serogroup C, as did half of those isolates cultured from the multivalent vaccinates. The remaining bacterial isolates from the latter group, together with all isolates from the non-vaccinated controls, belonged to serogroup B. Results are consistent with the hypothesis that derivatives of the serogroup B challenge inoculum had expressed serogroup C pilus antigen within 6 days of the challenge, possibly as a result of pilus gene inversion occurring in response to the presence of specific antibody in eye tissues and tears.

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