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Duration of immunity to experimental infection with bovine respiratory syncytial virus following intranasal vaccination of young passively immune calves

John A. Ellis DVM, PhD, DACVP1, Sheryl P. Gow DVM, PhD2, Suman Mahan DVM, PhD3, and Randy Leyh DVM, PhD4
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  • 1 Departments of Veterinary Microbiology, Western College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, SK S7N 5B4, Canada
  • | 2 Large Animal Clinical Sciences, Western College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, SK S7N 5B4, Canada
  • | 3 Zoetis, 7000 Portage Rd, Portage, MI 49001.
  • | 4 Zoetis, 7000 Portage Rd, Portage, MI 49001.

Abstract

Objective—To determine whether a combination modified-live bovine respiratory syncytial virus (BRSV) vaccine could stimulate protective immunity in young BRSV-seropositive calves following intranasal administration and determine the duration of clinical immunity.

Design—Controlled challenge study.

Animals—84 dairy calves (3 to 11 days old).

Procedures—Responses to BRSV challenge of seronegative calves vaccinated under licensing trial conditions were compared with those of seropositive calves 2 times after vaccination. In experiment 1, young BRSV-seronegative calves were vaccinated intranasally with a minimum immunizing dose of BRSV and challenged with BRSV approximately 7 weeks later. In experiments 2 and 3, young BRSV-seropositive calves were vaccinated intranasally with a commercially available combination modified-live virus vaccine containing the commercial dose of the BRSV fraction and challenged with BRSV 9 weeks or approximately 14 weeks later, respectively.

Results—In experiments 1 and 2, BRSV-vaccinated calves had significantly higher Pao 2, significantly fewer lung lesions, and significantly lower mortality rate than did unvaccinated calves subsequent to BRSV challenge. In contrast, in experiment 3, there were no differences in Pao 2, lung lesions, or mortality rate between vaccinated and control calves after BRSV challenge approximately 14 weeks after vaccination. Protected calves in experiment 1 consistently had significant anamnestic mucosal and systemic antibody responses after challenge, whereas in experiments 2 and 3, antibody responses after challenge were more variable.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—A combination BRSV vaccine administered intranasally to young calves induced protective immunity in the presence of maternal antibodies. The duration of immune responses induced by intranasal vaccination was short (≤ 4 months). Boosting immunity iatrogenically, or by natural exposure, is probably required to obtain optimal responses to neonatal intranasal vaccination.

Abstract

Objective—To determine whether a combination modified-live bovine respiratory syncytial virus (BRSV) vaccine could stimulate protective immunity in young BRSV-seropositive calves following intranasal administration and determine the duration of clinical immunity.

Design—Controlled challenge study.

Animals—84 dairy calves (3 to 11 days old).

Procedures—Responses to BRSV challenge of seronegative calves vaccinated under licensing trial conditions were compared with those of seropositive calves 2 times after vaccination. In experiment 1, young BRSV-seronegative calves were vaccinated intranasally with a minimum immunizing dose of BRSV and challenged with BRSV approximately 7 weeks later. In experiments 2 and 3, young BRSV-seropositive calves were vaccinated intranasally with a commercially available combination modified-live virus vaccine containing the commercial dose of the BRSV fraction and challenged with BRSV 9 weeks or approximately 14 weeks later, respectively.

Results—In experiments 1 and 2, BRSV-vaccinated calves had significantly higher Pao 2, significantly fewer lung lesions, and significantly lower mortality rate than did unvaccinated calves subsequent to BRSV challenge. In contrast, in experiment 3, there were no differences in Pao 2, lung lesions, or mortality rate between vaccinated and control calves after BRSV challenge approximately 14 weeks after vaccination. Protected calves in experiment 1 consistently had significant anamnestic mucosal and systemic antibody responses after challenge, whereas in experiments 2 and 3, antibody responses after challenge were more variable.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—A combination BRSV vaccine administered intranasally to young calves induced protective immunity in the presence of maternal antibodies. The duration of immune responses induced by intranasal vaccination was short (≤ 4 months). Boosting immunity iatrogenically, or by natural exposure, is probably required to obtain optimal responses to neonatal intranasal vaccination.

Contributor Notes

Supported in part by Zoetis.

Dr. Ellis conducts similar studies for Zoetis, Merial Ltd, Merck Animal Health, Fort Dodge Animal Health, and Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica Inc.

The authors thank Trudy Hupaelo, Ed Hupaelo, Stacey Lacoste, Carrie Rhodes, and Diane Sanjenko for technical assistance and Dr. Debbie Haines for intellectual contributions.

Address correspondence to Dr. Ellis (john.ellis@usask.ca).