Efficacy of a high potency O1 Manisa monovalent vaccine against heterologous challenge with foot-and-mouth disease virus of O/SEA/Mya-98 lineage in sheep

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Potency tests for commercial oil-adjuvanted foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) vaccines are usually carried out in cattle, using a full dose (2 ml) of vaccine and homologous virus challenge. However, in sheep the recommended vaccine dose is half of the cattle dose (1 ml) and most vaccines have not been potency tested for this species, especially with heterologous viruses. To determine the efficacy of a high potency (>6PD50) FMD virus (FMDV) O1Manisa vaccine in sheep, we carried out a study using a heterologous FMDV (FMDV O/SKR/2010 - Mya-98 strain) challenge. Groups of seven animals each were vaccinated with 2×, 1×, 1/2× or 1/4× dose (2 ml, 1 ml, 0.5 ml or 0.25 ml respectively) and challenged at 7 days post vaccination (dpv). Only 3 of the 7 sheep in the group vaccinated with 2 ml were protected. With 2 additional groups, receiving double or single doses and challenged at 14 dpv, 4 of 7 sheep were protected in each group. None of the sheep had measurable neutralising antibodies against the vaccine or challenge virus at 7 dpv. However, all vaccinated animals challenged at 14 dpv had a homologous neutralising response against FMDV O1 Manisa on the day of challenge and all but one animal also had a heterologous response to FMDV O/SKR/2010. Infectious FMDV and viral RNA could be found in nasal swabs between 1 and 6 days post challenge (dpc) in most vaccinated sheep, but those vaccinated with higher doses or challenged at 14 dpv showed significant decreases in the level of FMDV detection. Intermittent virus shedding was noticed between 1 and 35 dpc in all vaccinated groups, but persistent infection could be demonstrated only in 4 sheep (20%). This study showed that at the recommended dose, a high potency (>6 PD50) FMDV O1Manisa vaccine does not protect sheep against a heterologous challenge at 7 dpv. However, partial protection was observed when a double dose was used at 7 dpv or when double or single dose vaccinated sheep were challenged at 14 dpv.

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