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A Dead Cert : Experiment 6

A Dead Cert

6. Ponies deliberately infected with equine influenza

Animal Health Trust (Newmarket)

In a collaborative study, scientists in the UK and France exposed 24 Welsh Mountain ponies to a new genetically engineered equine influenza vaccine.

Twelve ponies received two doses of vaccine, while the other 12 did not. All of the animals were subsequently exposed to an aerosol spray containing equine influenza virus.

The unvaccinated ponies showed more overt and severe signs of an immune response. This manifested itself as fever, coughing, nasal discharge, breathing difficulties, loss of appetite and depression.

Viruses are easily spread when infected horses come into close contact with each other, e.g. during racing, at stud, at sales or in training yards. Vaccinated animals can also shed virus and infect other animals.

Paillot R, Kydd JH, Sindle T, Hannant D, Toulemonde CE, Audonnet JC, Minke JM, Daly JM. Veterinary immunology and immunopathology,2006; 112:225-233. Antibody and IFN responses induced by a recombinant canarypox vaccine and challenge infection with equine influenza virus.

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