Field evaluation of a commercial M-protein vaccine against Streptococcus equi infection in foals

Andrew M. Hoffman From the Departments of Clinical Studies (Hoffman, Staempfli, Viel) and Veterinary Microbiology and Immunology (Prescott) Ontario Veterinary College, University of Guelph, Ontario, N1G 2W1, Canada.

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Henri R. Staempfli From the Departments of Clinical Studies (Hoffman, Staempfli, Viel) and Veterinary Microbiology and Immunology (Prescott) Ontario Veterinary College, University of Guelph, Ontario, N1G 2W1, Canada.

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John F. Prescott From the Departments of Clinical Studies (Hoffman, Staempfli, Viel) and Veterinary Microbiology and Immunology (Prescott) Ontario Veterinary College, University of Guelph, Ontario, N1G 2W1, Canada.

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Laurent Viel From the Departments of Clinical Studies (Hoffman, Staempfli, Viel) and Veterinary Microbiology and Immunology (Prescott) Ontario Veterinary College, University of Guelph, Ontario, N1G 2W1, Canada.

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SUMMARY

A double-blind randomized clinical trial was undertaken to determine the value of parenterally administered Streptococcus equi M-protein vaccine in foals during an epizootic of strangles. Weaned mixed-breed foals (n = 664) housed on 2 adjacent feed-lots (A and B) arrived over a 5-day period, 2 weeks before primary vaccination. Foals in lot B (n = 114) were randomly administered vaccine (n = 59) or saline solution (placebo; n = 55) on 3 occasions at biweekly intervals. Foals in lot A (n = 450) were given 1 dose of vaccine (n = 225) or placebo. The following clinical observations were scored blindly by a single observer for all foals in lot B and for 120 (randomly sampled) foals in lot A on a single day, 2 (lot B) and 6 (lot A) weeks after final vaccination: cervical lymphadenopathy, type of bilateral nasal discharge, and palpable swelling at injection site(s). Bacteriologic culture of nasal swab specimens or lymph node aspirates from selected foals with clinical disease yielded Sequi. Cervical lymphadenopathy was observed in 17 of 59 (29%) vaccinates and 39 of 55 (71%) nonvaccinated controls in lot B and in 32 of 60 (53%) vaccinates and 29 of 60 (48%) controls in lot A. Contingency χ2analysis confirmed significantly lower cervical lymphadenopathy rate (χ2= 18.5; P < 0.001) and prevalence of mucopurulent nasal discharge (χ2= 11.4; P < 0.01) for vaccinates in lot B only. Swelling(s) at the vaccine injection site were palpated in 44% of lot B and 29% of lot A vaccinates vs < 2% of placebo controls. In the face of intense natural exposure, foals inoculated 3 times with M-protein vaccine were less than half as likely to have clinical signs of strangles as were nonvaccinated horses.

SUMMARY

A double-blind randomized clinical trial was undertaken to determine the value of parenterally administered Streptococcus equi M-protein vaccine in foals during an epizootic of strangles. Weaned mixed-breed foals (n = 664) housed on 2 adjacent feed-lots (A and B) arrived over a 5-day period, 2 weeks before primary vaccination. Foals in lot B (n = 114) were randomly administered vaccine (n = 59) or saline solution (placebo; n = 55) on 3 occasions at biweekly intervals. Foals in lot A (n = 450) were given 1 dose of vaccine (n = 225) or placebo. The following clinical observations were scored blindly by a single observer for all foals in lot B and for 120 (randomly sampled) foals in lot A on a single day, 2 (lot B) and 6 (lot A) weeks after final vaccination: cervical lymphadenopathy, type of bilateral nasal discharge, and palpable swelling at injection site(s). Bacteriologic culture of nasal swab specimens or lymph node aspirates from selected foals with clinical disease yielded Sequi. Cervical lymphadenopathy was observed in 17 of 59 (29%) vaccinates and 39 of 55 (71%) nonvaccinated controls in lot B and in 32 of 60 (53%) vaccinates and 29 of 60 (48%) controls in lot A. Contingency χ2analysis confirmed significantly lower cervical lymphadenopathy rate (χ2= 18.5; P < 0.001) and prevalence of mucopurulent nasal discharge (χ2= 11.4; P < 0.01) for vaccinates in lot B only. Swelling(s) at the vaccine injection site were palpated in 44% of lot B and 29% of lot A vaccinates vs < 2% of placebo controls. In the face of intense natural exposure, foals inoculated 3 times with M-protein vaccine were less than half as likely to have clinical signs of strangles as were nonvaccinated horses.

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