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To evaluate efficacy of a novel vaccine against rabbit hemorrhagic disease virus 2 (RHDV2) in domestic rabbits.
40 New Zealand White rabbits obtained from a commercial breeder.
Rabbits were vaccinated and held at the production facility for the duration of the vaccination phase and transferred to Colorado State University for challenge with RHDV2. Rabbits were challenged with oral suspensions containing infectious virus and monitored for clinical disease for up to 10 days. Rabbits that died or were euthanized following infection were necropsied, and livers were evaluated for viral RNA via RT-PCR.
None of the vaccinated animals (0/9) exhibited clinical disease or mortality following infection with RHDV2 while 9/13 (69%) of the control animals succumbed to lethal disease following infection.
The novel vaccine described herein provided complete protection against lethal infection following RHDV2 challenge. Outside of emergency use, there are currently no licensed vaccines against RHDV2 on the market in the United States; as such, this vaccine candidate would provide an option for control of this disease now that RHDV2 has become established in North America.
Objective—To determine signalment, clinical findings, results of diagnostic testing, outcome, and postmortem findings in horses with West Nile virus (WNV) encephalomyelitis.
Animals—46 horses with WNV encephalomyelitis.
Procedure—Clinical data were extracted from medical records of affected horses.
Results—On the basis of clinical signs and results of serologic testing, WNV encephalomyelitis was diagnosed in 46 of 56 horses with CNS signs. Significantly more males than females were affected. Increased rectal temperature, weakness or ataxia, and muscle fasciculations were the most common clinical signs. Paresis was more common than ataxia, although both could be asymmetrical and multifocal. Supportive treatment included anti-inflammatory medications, fluids, antimicrobials, and slinging of recumbent horses. Results of the IgM capture ELISA and the plaque reduction neutralization test provided a diagnosis in 43 horses, and only results of the plaque reduction neutralization test were positive in 3 horses. Mortality rate was 30%, and 71% of recumbent horses were euthanatized. One horse that had received 2 vaccinations for WNV developed the disease and was euthanatized. Follow-up communications with 19 owners revealed that most horses had residual deficits at 1 month after release from the hospital; abnormalities were resolved in all but 2 horses by 12 months after release.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Our findings were similar to those of previous WNV outbreaks in horses but provided additional clinical details from monitored hospitalized horses. Diagnostic testing is essential to diagnosis, treatment is supportive, and recovery rate of discharged ambulatory horses is < 100%. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2003;222:1241–1247)