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  • Author or Editor: Jena L. R. White x
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Abstract

Objective—To determine whether it is safe to vaccinate pregnant or postpartum mares with a commercial modified-live virus vaccine against equine viral arteritis (EVA).

Design—Randomized controlled study.

Animals—73 mares and their foals.

Procedures—Mares were vaccinated during mid gestation, during late gestation, or 2 or 3 days after parturition with a commercial modified-live virus vaccine or were not vaccinated. Foaling outcomes were recorded, and serum, blood, milk, and nasopharyngeal samples were obtained.

Results—All mares vaccinated during mid gestation foaled without any problems; 21 of 22 mares in this group had antibody titers against EAV at the time of foaling. Of the 19 mares vaccinated during late gestation, 3 aborted; antibody titers against EAV were detected in 13 of 15 mares from which serum was obtained at the time of foaling. All postparturient vaccinates were seronegative at foaling; all of them seroconverted after vaccination. No adverse effects were detected in any of their foals.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—When faced with a substantial risk of natural exposure to EAV, it would appear to be safe to vaccinate healthy pregnant mares up to 3 months before foaling and during the immediate postpartum period. Vaccinating mares during the last 2 months of gestation was associated with a risk of abortion; this risk must be weighed against the much greater risk of widespread abortions in unprotected populations of pregnant mares naturally infected with EAV.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association