Research update from Dr. Arenas for year 1 of work to develop a 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 canine use.
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 our research is to develop a brucellosis vaccine that is safe, stable, free of side effects and efficacious for dogs. Towards this goal, previous funding (AKC CHF Grant- 2275-A) has permitted us to successfully engineer a promising live attenuated vaccine candidate denominated B. canis RM666∆vjbR. Initial in vitro studies have demonstrated that this candidate is highly attenuated in canine macrophages as well as laboratory animals.
In this study, we demonstrated that the RM-666∆vjbR vaccine candidate induces a robust cellular immune response capable of protecting against infection and that this vaccine will also provide the means to differentiate vaccinated from naturally infected animals.