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Evaluation of lamb and calf responses to Rift Valley fever MP-12 vaccination

William C. Wilson, Bhupinder Bawa, Barbara S. Drolet, Chris Lehiy, Bonto Faburay, Dane C. Jasperson, Lindsey Reister, Natasha N. Gaudreault, Jolene Carlson, Wenjun Ma, Igor Morozov, D. Scott McVey, Jürgen A. Richt
Veterinary microbiology 2014 v.172 no.1-2 pp. 44-50
Culicidae, Rift Valley fever, antigens, calves, fever, histopathology, humans, immune response, immunohistochemistry, laboratory animals, lambs, live vaccines, necropsy, necrosis, public health, safety testing, strains, vaccination, viremia, virulence, viruses, Africa, Middle East, United States
Rift Valley fever (RVF) is an important viral disease of animals and humans in Africa and the Middle East that is transmitted by mosquitoes. The disease is of concern to international agricultural and public health communities. The RVFV MP-12 strain has been the most safety tested attenuated vaccine strain; thus it is being considered as a potential vaccine for the US national veterinary stockpile. This study was designed to establish safety protocols for large animal research with virulent RVF viruses, establish a target host immune response baseline using RVF MP-12 strain, and independently evaluate this strain as a potential US emergency response vaccine. Ten, approximately four month-old lambs and calves were vaccinated with RVF MP-12 strain; two additional animals per species provided negative control specimens. The animals were monitored for clinical and immune response, fever, and viremia. Two animals per species were sacrificed on 2, 3, 4, 10 and 28 days post infection and full necropsies were performed for histopathological examination. No clinical or febrile responses were observed in this study. The onset and titer of the immune response is discussed. There was no significant histopathology in the lambs; however, 6 out of 10 vaccinated calves had multifocal, random areas of hepatocellular degeneration and necrosis. RVF MP12 antigen was detected in these areas of necrosis by immunohistochemistry in one calf. This study provides independent and baseline information on the RVF MP-12 attenuated vaccination in vaccine relevant age target species and indicates the importance of performing safety testing on vaccine relevant aged target animals.