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Response of Kittens to Vaccination

Jas, D., C. Aeberle, et al. (2009). Onset of immunity in kittens after vaccination with a non-adjuvanted vaccine against feline panleucopenia, feline calicivirus and feline herpesvirus. Vet J 182(1): 86-93.

Feline panleukopenia, calicivirus and herpesvirus are all significant and common pathogens of cats, and are highly contagious in susceptible populations. Cats are routinely vaccinated against these pathogens, but the time it takes following vaccination for protection to develop in the kitten has not been examined in depth. Induction of a rapid immune response is critical in high-risk environments such as shelters. These investigators examined the level of protection in kittens one week after vaccination with a combination vaccine containing live strains of feline panleukopenia virus, herpesvirus, and Chlamydophila, and inactivated feline calicivirus, as well as recombinant FeLV component. A recombinant rabies vaccine was also given. Kittens were specific pathogen free, thus there was no maternal antibody to interfere with vaccine response. They were challenged one week (FPV, FHV, FCV), three weeks (FPV), or four weeks (FHV and FCV) after vaccination. Clinical parameters were measured, and antibody levels and virus shedding was assessed. Kittens appeared to be protected from severe disease by one week post-vaccination, and virus shedding was also significantly reduced as compared to non-vaccinated controls. No difference in clinical parameters was noted whether kittens were challenged at one week or three to four weeks post vaccination. While a single vaccination with FPV induced rapid antibody production, two vaccinations with FCV and FHV were required for a similar response. While maternal antibodies will interfere with vaccinal response if present, this study shows that without maternal antibodies, vaccinal response occurs rapidly. [MK]
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Related articles:
Dawson, S., K. Willoughby, et al. (2001). A field trial to assess the effect of vaccination against feline herpesvirus, feline calicivirus and feline panleucopenia virus in 6-week-old kittens. J Feline Med Surg 3(1): 17-22.
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Lappin, M. R., R. W. Sebring, et al. (2006). Effects of a single dose of an intranasal feline herpesvirus 1, calicivirus, and panleukopenia vaccine on clinical signs and virus shedding after challenge with virulent feline herpesvirus 1. J Feline Med Surg 8(3): 158-63.
>> PubMed Abstract