Bovine herpesvirus type 1 (BoHV-1) is recognized as a major cause of respiratory, reproductive disease and abortion in cattle. Vaccination is widely applied to minimize losses induced by BoHV-1 infections; however, vaccination of dams during pregnancy with modified live virus (MLV) vaccines has been occasionally associated to abortions. We have previously reported the development of a BoHV-1 recombinant virus, constructed with basis on a Brazilian BoHV-1 (Franco et al. 2002a) from which the gene coding for glycoprotein E (gE) was deleted (gE-) by genetic manipulation. Such recombinant has been previously evaluated in its potential as a differential vaccine (gE-vaccine) that allows differentiation between vaccinated and infected animals. Here, in the first part of the present study, the safety of the gE-vaccine during pregnancy was evaluated by the intramuscular inoculation of 107.4 tissue culture 50% infective doses (TCID50) of the virus into 22 pregnant dams (14 BoHV-1 seronegative; 8 seropositive), at different stages of gestation. Other 15 pregnant dams were kept as non-vaccinated controls. No abortions, stillbirths or fetal abnormalities were seen after vaccination. Seroconversion was observed in both groups of previously seronegative vaccinated animals. In the second part of the study, the potential of the gE-vaccine virus to spread among beef cattle under field conditions was examined. Four heifers were inoculated intranasally with a larger amount (107.6TCID50) of the gE-vaccine (to increase chances of transmission) and mixed with other sixteen animals at the same age and body condition, in the same grazing area, at a population density equal to the average cattle farming density within the region (one cattle head per 10,000 m2), for 180 days. All animals were monitored daily for clinical signs. Serum samples were collected on days 0, 30, 60 and 180 post-vaccination. Seroconversion was observed only in vaccinated heifers. These results indicate that, under the conditions of the present study, the gE-vaccine virus did not cause any noticeable harmful effect on pregnant dams and on its offspring and did not spread horizontally among cattle.
- BoHV-1 recombinant gE-vaccine
- Bovine herpesvirus 1
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