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Open Access Comparative Efficacy of a Canine Distemper-Measles and a Standard Measles Vaccine for Immunization of Rhesus Macaques (Macaca mulatta)

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Measles virus (MV), a highly infective paramyxovirus, has caused sporadic epizootics characterized by high morbidity and increased mortality in nonhuman primates. Measles vaccines for human use, although effective, are cost prohibitive for use in primate colonies. We compared the efficacy of one or two doses of Vanguard D-M, a canine distemper-measles (CD-M) vaccine, with a single dose of Attenuvax, a human measles vaccine. Compared with 81% of animals inoculated with Attenuvax, all animals inoculated with one or two doses of Vanguard developed detectable MV antibodies. One year after immunization, six juveniles from each vaccine group, along with three unvaccinated controls, were challenged with pathogenic MV and were monitored for clinical signs of disease, viremia, viral shedding, and immune response. All uninoculated controls developed clinical disease and viremia, and shed virus in nasopharangeal secretions. Subclinical viremia without viral shedding was identified in two Attenuvax- and two single-dose Vanguard-inoculated animals. Viremia was not detected in any two-dose Vanguard-inoculated animals. Significantly higher neutralization antibody titers were observed in animals receiving Vanguard. Results of this study indicate that Vanguard is at least as efficacious as Attenuvax for protection of rhesus macaques. The considerably lower cost of Vanguard makes vaccination against measles in large breeding colonies economically feasible.

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: California Regional Primate Research Center, University of California, Davis, One Shields Avenue, Davis, California 95616-8542

Publication date: October 1, 2002

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  • Comparative Medicine (CM), an international journal of comparative and experimental medicine, is the leading English-language publication in the field and is ranked by the Science Citation Index in the upper third of all scientific journals. The mission of CM is to disseminate high-quality, peer-reviewed information that expands biomedical knowledge and promotes human and animal health through the study of laboratory animal disease, animal models of disease, and basic biologic mechanisms related to disease in people and animals.

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