Evaluation of a New Vaccine for Canine Brucellosis

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
Amount: $3,000

Genome sequencing and antimicrobial susceptibilities of Escherichia coli isolated from clinical cases of canine pyometra

Pyometra is a potentially life-threatening infection of the canine uterus by bacteria, most commonly Escherichia coli (E. coli). In humans with recurrent infections, E. coli produces biofilm, a layer of polysaccharide that protects the organism from the host immune system as well as antibiotic agents, decreasing treatment efficacy. Current treatments for pyometra are costly, time-consuming, and not without risk to the bitch.

The investigators postulate that biofilm production by E.coli within the uterine lining may be responsible for perpetuating the disease and making treatment difficult. In previous CHF-funded study, the investigators were able to prove that E. coli from clinical cases of canine pyometra is capable of producing biofilm both in the uterus and in laboratory settings.

The purpose of this study is to characterize the presence of ten different genes associated with biofilm production and disease-contributing factors of E. coli organisms to determine if there is an association with those strains of E. coli that produce biofilm and certain disease factors found in other strains of E. coli. Disease factor genes and resistance patterns will be identified, and may serve as targets for new therapeutics directed at the disruption of biofilm in an effort to shorten the duration of treatment of pyometra.

Co-sponsored with the AKC Canine Health Foundation, Grant Number: 02512-A


Erin E Runcan, DVM
Ohio State University
Amount: $2,000