Immune responses were compared after intranasal (IN) and intramuscular (IM) vaccination of horses with a modified live equine herpesvirus type-1 (EHV-1) vaccine, and the protective effect after EHV-1 challenge was evaluated. IN- and IM-vaccinated groups (n = 5 each) showed significant rises in serum virus-neutralizing titers with increased levels of IgGa and IgGb antibodies after the first vaccination (P < 0.05). In nasal secretions, the IN group had significantly increased levels of IgA antibodies after vaccination (P < 0.05), whereas the response of the IM group was dominated by IgGa and IgGb subclasses. After challenge infection, the numbers of pyretic horses from 1 to 4 days post-inoculation were 3/5 in the placebo (PBO) group (n = 5), 0/5 in the IN group, and 1/5 in the IM group. The IN and IM groups had significantly lower levels of virus shedding than the PBO group (P < 0.05). There were no significant between-group differences in the numbers of viremic horses each day. Notably, two horses in the IM group had no virus shedding or viremia, whereas all horses in the other group did. Both IN and IM vaccination induced systemic humoral immunity and mucosal immunity, suppressing virus replication in the nasal mucosa, and partially protected horses from pyrexia, especially early in infection. This study showed a mucosal antibody response was induced, not only by IN vaccination but also by IM vaccination.
Keywords: EHV-1; Intramuscular; Intranasal; Mucosal immunity; Vaccination.
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