Advancing the health and well-being of animals and people

Co-Principal Investigator:  M. Julia B. Felippe
Co-Principal Investigator:  Eric Ledbetter

Contact Information: Email:; Phone: 607-253-3119
Contact Information: Email:; Phone: 607-253-3060
Sponsor: Collaborative Research Grants Program
Grant Number: N/A
Title: Vaccination to Prevent Recurrent Canine Herpesvirus-1 Disease and Viral Shedding in Mature Dogs
Annual Direct Cost: $28,000
Project Period: 10/01/10-09/30/11

DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): Canine herpesvirus-1 (CHV-1) is among the most prevalent infectious diseases of domestic dogs world-wide, with infection rates >90% in many populations. Following initial exposure to CHV-1, surviving dogs remain infected for life. These life-long infections, termed latent infections, can cause recurrent disease and viral shedding. Infection of fetal and neonatal dogs results in severe, typically fatal, systemic disease. Infections of immunocompetent mature dogs are typically associated with reproductive disorders (ie, infertility, abortion, stillbirths, and premature births) and recurrent respiratory, genital, and ocular disease. In immunosuppressed mature dogs, CHV-1 infection is associated with relatively severe clinical disease and may be fatal. A subunit CHV-1 vaccine was recently developed to immunize pregnant bitches and prevent mortality in puppies associated CHV-1 infection acquired in the first days of life; however, the efficacy of this vaccination in the prevention of CHV-1 disease and viral shedding in latently infected mature dogs is not determined. As initial CHV-1 infection typically occurs early in life and the majority of the world’s dog population is already latently infected with CHV-1, a vaccine to prevent latent infection would not be feasible or applicable to most dogs. This study will evaluate the ability of a CHV-1 vaccine to stimulate peripheral CHV-1 specific immunity and prevent recurrent CHV-1 disease and viral shedding in mature dogs. Using our recurrent CHV-1 ocular disease model that clinically indicates viral reactivation state, the duration of vaccinal response and protection will also be evaluated using clinical, immunological, and virological outcome measures. Information obtained from this study will provide essential preliminary information that will be used to develop and optimize CHV-1 vaccinal strategies with the ultimate goal of reducing CHV-1 infection rates and the prevalence of CHV-1 associated diseases among mature dogs. A CHV-1 vaccine may be indicated for mature dogs in general, but could be of particular importance to breeding dogs, dogs housed in large groups, and dogs with immunosuppressive diseases or treatments. These diseases and treatments are common among mature dogs.