Canine infection by Brucella spp. constitutes a serious problem for dog breeders and pet owners, leading to the economic burden associated with reproductive loss and veterinary care. Canine brucellosis is also considered a public health concern because of its potential to be transmitted to humans.
Within the US, the disease has reemerged due to the chronic persistence of the organism, low dose for infection, low sensitivity and specificity of the current diagnostic tests, and most importantly, the lack of a protective vaccine for dogs. Historically in the US, brucellosis control efforts for cattle, sheep, goats and domestic pigs have been successful mainly due to the availability of protective and efficacious vaccines.
The goal of the proposed research is to develop a brucellosis vaccine that is safe, stable, free of side effects and efficacious for dogs. Previous CHF funding (Grant #2275-A) has permitted the investigators to successfully engineer a promising live attenuated vaccine candidate, denominated B. canis RM666ΔvjbR.
This study will further investigate the ability of the vaccine candidate to induce appropriate immunity and will also develop a diagnostic assay capable of differentiating naturally infected vs vaccinated animals, necessary for mass vaccination. The development of a safe and highly protective brucellosis vaccine for dogs will significantly impact owners, breeders and human health by limiting the spread of the disease.
Co-sponsored with the AKC Canine Health Foundation, Grant Number: 02441
Angela Arenas, DVM
Texas A&M AgriLife Research