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Titer Testing Using Vaccicheck


Vaccination can provide an immune response that is similar in duration to that following a natural infection. In general, adaptive immunity to viruses develops earliest and is highly effective. Such anti-viral immune responses often result in the development of sterile immunity and the duration of immunity (DOI) is often lifelong. In contrast, adaptive immunity to bacteria, fungi or parasites develops more slowly and the DOI is generally short compared with most systemic viral infections. Sterile immunity to these infectious agents is less commonly engendered. Old dogs and cats rarely die from vaccine-preventable infectious disease, especially when they have been vaccinated and immunized as young adults (i.e. between 16 weeks and 1 year of age). However, young animals do die, often because vaccines were either not given or not given at an appropriate age (e.g. too early in life in the presence of maternally derived antibody [MDA]). More animals need to be vaccinated to increase herd (population) immunity. The present study examines the DOI for core viral vaccines in dogs that had not been revaccinated for as long as 9 years. These animals had serum antibody to canine distemper virus (CDV), canine parvovirus type 2 (CPV-2) and canine adenovirus type-1 (CAV-1) at levels considered protective and when challenged with these viruses, the dogs resisted infection and/or disease. Thus, even a single dose of modified live virus (MLV) canine core vaccines (against CDV, cav-2 and cpv-2) or MLV feline core vaccines (against feline parvovirus [FPV], feline calicivirus [FCV] and feline herpesvirus [FHV]), when administered at 16 weeks or older, could provide long-term immunity in a very high percentage of animals, while also increasing herd immunity


Based on experimental studies that have been ongoing since the 1970s, in which large numbers of vaccinated animals were challenged and/or tested for the titre of serum antibody, in addition to observations in the field, in particular in animal shelters experiencing outbreaks of CDV and/or CPV-2, it may be concluded that: Old dogs and cats do not die from vaccine-preventable infectious diseases. It is rare to see an old dog die from distemper, canine parvovirus or infectious canine hepatitis (CAV-1), unless it has never been vaccinated. Unlike elderly people, who often die from respiratory disease complex (i.e. pneumonia), old dogs and cats rarely die from canine/feline respiratory disease complex. In contrast to old dogs and cats, many younger dogs and cats do die from vaccine-preventable disease because they are not vaccinated or were not vaccinated at an appropriate age (i.e. at or after 16 weeks of age) or with effective vaccines. In spite of the relatively high percentage of vaccinated pets in the USA, only an estimated 25% of cats and 50% of dogs are ever vaccinated. Only one dose of the modified-live canine ‘core’ vaccine (against CDV, CAV-2 and CPV-2) or modified-live feline ‘core’ vaccine (against FPV, FCV and FHV), when administered at 16 weeks or older, will provide long lasting (many years to a lifetime) immunity in a very high percentage of animals (Schultz, 1998, 2000, 2006). Two doses of the core rabies vaccines given 3e4 weeks apart are likely to provide many years of immunity in both cats and dogs (Schultz et al., 1977). If we wish to enhance the herd (population) immunity, we need to provide vaccination for animals that never see a veterinarian. When the percentage of vaccinated dogs or cats reaches or exceeds 50%, herd immunity will help protect many of the unvaccinavaccinated animals (domestic and wild) that are susceptible to the core diseases. It is strongly recommended that current vaccination guidelines for dogs and cats be followed whenever possible (Day et al., 2007). Conflict of Interest The first author was an invited speaker at the Merial European Comparative Vaccinology Symposium and received travel expenses and an honorarium for this presentation. References Abdelmagid OY, Larson L, Payne L, Tubbs A, Wasmoen T et al. (2004) Evaluation of the efficacy and duration of immunity of a canine combination vaccine against virulent parvovirus, infectious canine hepatitis virus and distemper virus experimental challenges. Veterinary Therapeutics, 5, 173e186. Blount DG, Pritchard DI, Heaton PR (2005) Age-related alterations to immune parameters in Labrador retriever dogs. Veterinary Immunology and Immunopathology, 108, 399e407. Campbell DJ, Rawlings JM, Koelsch S, Wallace J, Strain JJ et al. (2004) Age-related differences in parameters of feline immune status. Veterinary Immunology and Immunopathology, 100, 73e80. Day MJ, Horzinek MC, Schultz RD (2007) Guidelines for the vaccination of dogs and cats. Journal of Small Animal Practice, 48, 528e541. Day MJ (2007) Immune system development in the dog and cat. Journal of Comparative Pathology, 137, S10eS15. Greeley EH, Spitznagel E, Lawler DF, Kealy RD, Segre M (2006) Modulation of canine immunosenescence by lifelong caloric restriction. Veterinary Immunology and Immunopathology, 111, 287e299. HogenEsch H, Thompson S, Dunham A, Ceddia M, Hayek M (2004) Effect of age on immune parameters and the immune response of dogs to vaccines: a cross-sectional study. Veterinary Immunology and Immunopathology, 97, 77e85. Larson LJ, Schultz RD (2007) Three-year duration of immunity in dogs vaccinated with a canarypox-vectored recombinant canine distemper virus vaccine. Veterinary Therapeutics, 8, 101e106. Larson LJ, Schultz RD (2008) Do two current canine parvovirus type 2 and 2b vaccines provide protection against the new type 2c variant? Veterinary Therapeutics, 9, 94e101. Schultz RD, Appel MJ, Carmichael LE (1977) Canine vaccines and immunity. In: Current Veterinary Therapy VI, RW Kirk, Ed., WB Saunders Co., Philadelphia, pp. 1271e1275. Schultz RD (1984) The effects of aging on the immune system. In: Proceedings of the 33rd Gaines Symposium on Canine Geriatrics, Vol. 6, p. 12. Table 4 Protective antibody titre required in actively immune dogs to protect against experimental challenge with canine distemper virus (CDV), canine adenovirus type-1 (CAV-1) and canine parvovirus type 2 (CPV-2) Challenge Virus Antibody titre: range and (mean) Test IV/IN CDV 4e16 (8) VN IV CAV-1 2e8 (4) VN IN/oral CPV-2 10e40 (20) HI IV, intravenous; IN, intranasal; VN, virus neutralization; HI, haemagglutination inhibition. Protective Immunity in Dogs and Cats S107 Schultz RD (1998) Current and future canine and feline vaccination programs. Veterinary Medicine, 93, 233e254. Schultz RD, Conklin S (1998) The immune system and vaccines. Compendium on Continuing Education for the Practicing Veterinarian, 20, 5e18. Schultz RD (2000) Considerations in designing effective and safe vaccination programs for dogs. In: Recent Advances in Canine Infectious Diseases, LE Carmichael, Ed., International Veterinary Information Service. http:// Schultz RD (2006) Duration of immunity for canine and feline vaccines: a review. Veterinary Microbiology, 117, 75e79. Scott FW, Geissinger CM (1999) Long-term immunity in cats vaccinated with an inactivated trivalent vaccine. American Journal of Veterinary Research, 60, 652e658.

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