Phocid herpesvirus type 1 (PhHV-1) causes significant morbidity and mortality among young and immunocompromised harbour seals. Therefore, the availability of an effective PhHV-1 vaccine would be of importance for orphanages and seal rehabilitation centres. Since possibilities to test PhHV-1 candidate vaccines in the target species are limited, a suitable animal model is needed. Given the close genetic and antigenic relationships between PhHV-1 and feline herpesvirus (FHV), the FHV cat system could be considered to test candidate PhHV-1 vaccines. Here we have tested a PhHV-1 based ISCOM vaccine for its protective efficacy against FHV infection in cats. To this end, three groups of cats were vaccinated thrice with ISCOM adjuvanted PhHV-1, FHV, and mock vaccines, respectively. One month after the last vaccination, all cats were challenged with a virulent FHV strain. All PhHV-1 and FHV vaccinated cats were protected from developing severe disease and excreted significantly less FHV than the mock vaccinated cats.

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Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

Airikkala, M. I., Harder, T., Osterhaus, A., & Martina, B. (2001). A candidate phocid herpesvirus vaccine that provides protection against feline herpesvirus infection. Vaccine, 20(5-6), 943–948. doi:10.1016/S0264-410X(01)00378-4