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Am J Vet Res. 1997 Oct;58(10):1110-4.

Safety of a mutagen-attenuated Rift Valley fever virus vaccine in fetal and neonatal bovids.

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  • 1US Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases, Applied Research Division, Fort Detrick, Frederick, MD 21702-5011, USA.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To examine effects of in utero inoculation with a mutagen-attenuated Rift Valley fever virus (RVFV) vaccine (RVF MP-12) on fetal bovids and to assess the safety and efficacy of calfhood vaccination with RVF MP-12.

ANIMALS:

18 pregnant Hereford and Hereford-type cows in the third or fifth month of gestation, their progeny, and 25 calves from cows immunized with RVF MP-12 during pregnancy.

PROCEDURE:

Bovine fetuses were inoculated, via laparotomy, with 1 ml of RVF MP-12 containing 5 log10 plaque-forming units (PFU) of virus. Blood was obtained from newborn calves prior to their ingestion of colostrum. Immune-naive calves and calves born to RVF MP-12-vaccinated dams, ranging in age from 2 to 45 days, were vaccinated with RVF MP-12, and some were later challenge exposed with 1 ml of 5.7 log10 PFU of virulent RVFV strain ZH-501. Cows were monitored for viremia and antibody responses and for hematologic and serum biochemical alterations through parturition or abortion.

RESULTS:

Surviving in utero-vaccinated calves were healthy, with no noticeable defects. Except for 1 vaccine-inoculated fetus that died on postinoculation day 21, all in utero-vaccinated fetuses had serum neutralizing antibody titer > or = 1:20 at the time of delivery. All dams of in utero-vaccinated fetuses also developed neutralizing antibody titer. Calves born to cows vaccinated during gestation did not have antibody at birth, and all but 1 quickly acquired colostral antibody. Postparturient inoculation of immune-naive calves and calves with colostral antibodies resulted in no untoward effects, and all calves with detectable neutralizing antibodies were protected against virulent virus challenge exposure.

CONCLUSIONS:

Fetal death and abortion would be rare even if fetuses were exposed to RVF MP-12. The trauma and complications associated with in utero inoculation do not make this a practical method of immunization. RVF MP-12 was safe, immunogenic, and protective in calves as young as 2 days of age.

PMID:
9328663
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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