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  • Author or Editor: Richard A. Bowen x
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Objective—To evaluate humoral immune responses of emus vaccinated with commercially available equine polyvalent or experimental monovalent eastern equine encephalomyelitis (EEE) virus and western equine encephalomyelitis (WEE) virus vaccines and to determine whether vaccinated emus were protected against challenge with EEE virus.

Design—Cohort study.

Animals—25 emus.

Procedure—Birds were randomly assigned to groups (n = 5/group) and vaccinated with 1 of 2 commercially available polyvalent equine vaccines, a monovalent EEE virus vaccine, or a monovalent WEE virus vaccine or were not vaccinated. Neutralizing antibody responses against EEE and WEE viruses were examined at regular intervals for up to 9 months. All emus vaccinated with the equine vaccines and 2 unvaccinated control birds were challenged with EEE virus. An additional unvaccinated bird was housed with the control birds to assess the possibility of contact transmission.

Results—All 4 vaccines induced detectable neutralizing antibody titers, and all birds vaccinated with the equine vaccines were fully protected against an otherwise lethal dose of EEE virus. Unvaccinated challenged birds developed viremia (> 109 plaque-forming units/ml of blood) and shed virus in feces, oral secretions, and regurgitated material. The unvaccinated pen-mate became infected in the absence of mosquito vectors, presumably as a result of direct virus transmission between birds.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results indicate that emus infected with EEE virus develop a hightiter viremia and suggest that they may serve as important virus reservoirs. Infected emus shed EEE virus in secretions and excretions, making them a direct hazard to pen-mates and attending humans. Commercially available polyvalent equine vaccines protect emus against EEE virus infection. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2001;218:1469–1473)

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association


Objective—To determine the onset of immunity after IM administration of a single dose of a recombinant canarypox virus vaccine against West Nile virus (WNV) in horses in a blind challenge trial.

Animals—20 mixed-breed horses.

Procedure—Horses with no prior exposure to WNV were randomly assigned to 1 of 2 groups (10 horses/group). In 1 group, a recombinant canarypox virus vaccine against WNV was administered to each horse once (day 0). The other 10 control horses were untreated. On day 26, 9 treated and 10 control horses were challenged via the bites of mosquitoes (Aedes albopictus) infected with WNV. Clinical responses and WNV isolation were monitored for 14 days after challenge exposure; antibody responses against WNV after administration of the vaccine and challenge were also assessed in both groups.

Results—Following challenge via WNV-infected mosquitoes, 1 of 9 treated horses developed viremia. In contrast, 8 of 10 control horses developed viremia after challenge exposure to WNV-infected mosquitoes. All horses seroconverted after WNV challenge; compared with control horses, antibody responses in the horses that received the vaccine were detected earlier.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—In horses, a single dose of the recombinant canarypox virus-WNV vaccine appears to provide early protection against development of viremia after challenge with WNVinfected mosquitoes, even in the absence of measurable antibody titers in some horses. This vaccine may provide veterinarians with an important tool in controlling WNV infection during a natural outbreak or under conditions in which a rapid onset of protection is required. (Am J Vet Res 2004;65:1459–1462)

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research