In this study, to evaluate the influence of strangles vaccination on serological test results, we investigated the changes in strangles serum antibody levels in horses after vaccination and subsequent intranasal challenge with S. equi. The horses were vaccinated for strangles with either a component vaccine (Group C) or a live vaccine (Group L). We measured changes in strangles serum antibody levels weekly for 20 weeks after vaccinating horses twice for strangles over a 3-week interval, and for 7 weeks after intranasal challenge with S. equi in the same horses. Serum antibody responses to the proline-glutamic acid-proline-lysine (PEPK) antigen with five repetitions (PEPK-5R) were higher at all times (up to 2.4-fold) following vaccination in Group C than in Group L, and the value peaked at 2.9-fold above the initial value after the second vaccination in Group C horses. However, the value was lower than that in horses infected with S. equi, and it gradually decreased, reaching the initial (week 0) value by the 15th week. Serum antibody responses to PEPK-5R after challenge with S. equi increased in both groups of horses, but the value tended to be lower than that reported for unvaccinated horses. In addition, the average value in Group C was 2.6-fold higher than that of Group L. These results suggest the serum antibody responses of horses infected with S. equi varies according to the type of vaccine with which they have been vaccinated. Although the serological diagnostic test for strangles in which PEPK-5R is used as an antigen is effective for the investigation of serum antibodies to strangles in vaccinated horses, the present data suggest it is necessary to consider the vaccination history when interpreting the results.
- PEPK antigen with five repetitions
- Serological diagnostic test
- Streptococcus equi
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