Horses vaccinated with live attenuated intranasal strangles vaccine seroconvert to SEQ2190 and SeM

Equine Vet J. 2022 Mar;54(2):299-305. doi: 10.1111/evj.13443. Epub 2021 Mar 18.


Background: The dual antigen iELISA uses two Streptococcus equi subsp equi surface protein antigens composed of N-terminal portions of SEQ2190 (Antigen A) and SeM (Antigen C). It is currently used to identify animals exposed to S. equi which have developed an immune response to the target antigens.

Objectives: To determine the usefulness of the dual antigen iELISA in a population of horses vaccinated with Pinnacle IN. We hypothesised that horses vaccinated for strangles with a live attenuated, non-encapsulated SeM-2 strain of S. equi, would seroconvert when tested 5 weeks later by the dual antigen iELISA.

Study design: Prospective case-control study.

Methods: Three separate serum samples were obtained from 26 client-owned horses vaccinated annually with Pinnacle® IN and 26 university-owned (non-vaccinates): at annual strangles vaccination (S1), 5-week post-vaccination (S2) from vaccinates, and a third (S3) (at 10 weeks) from vaccinates who received a booster. Seropositivity was defined as an OD450 nm value ≥0.5 for one or both antigens. Mixed-effects ordered logistic regression analysis was used to identify factors associated with a suspect seropositive and seropositive value on the combined Antigen A and Antigen C iELISA. Post hoc pairwise comparisons of linear predictive margins were used to assess the differences in OD450 at a specific time between Antigens A and C.

Results: Nineteen of 25 (76%) vaccinates were seropositive at S2 compared to 1 of 26 (4%) non-vaccinates. When adjusted for sample number, vaccinates were more likely to be seropositive or suspect than non-vaccinates (OR 14; P = .02, 95% CI 1.62-122.03). The OD450 value was significantly larger for Antigen C than Antigen A for vaccinates (P < .001; 95% CI 0.13-0.26) when normalised by age, sex and breed.

Main limitations: Guttural pouch sampling for S. equi in seroconverted horses was unavailable.

Conclusions: With a high rate of seroconversion to both antigens, the use of the dual antigen iELISA is not recommended in populations vaccinated with Pinnacle® IN.

Keywords: antibody; antigen A; antigen C; horse; pinnacle.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Horse Diseases* / prevention & control
  • Horses
  • Streptococcal Infections* / prevention & control
  • Streptococcal Infections* / veterinary
  • Streptococcus equi*
  • Vaccines*


  • Vaccines