The Efficacy of a Bivalent Vaccine Against Pasteurellosis and Rabbit Haemorrhagic Disease Virus

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Rabbit haemorrhagic disease virus (RHDV) and Pasteurella multocida bacteria cause severe losses among rabbit populations. The efficacy of a recently developed bivalent vaccine against pasteurellosis and RHDV was investigated. Doses exceeding 2 haemagglutinating units (HU) of viral antigen were sufficient to protect rabbits against infection with RHDV. The bivalent vaccine appeared to be safe for use in all age groups of rabbits, including pregnant females, even after treatment with 20 times the normal vaccine dose. Rabbits injected with 8 or 4 HU of bivalent vaccine showed high antibody titres against both organisms for 9 months after inoculation. The antibody levels against RHDV in young rabbits at 30 days of age were elevated when they originated from mothers with high antibody titres. The most suitable period for vaccination of offspring appeared to be around 50 days of age. The bivalent vaccine against pasteurellosis and RHDV combined speed and longevity of the immune response. Immune protection against pasteurellosis and RHDV can thus be achieved with only one manipulation.

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