Comparative efficacy of a canine distemper-measles and a standard measles vaccine for immunization of rhesus macaques (Macaca mulatta)

Kari L. Christe, Michael B. McChesney, Abigail Spinner, Ann N. Rosenthal, Philip C. Allen, Celia R. Valverde, Jeffrey A Roberts, Nicholas W. Lerche

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Measles virus (MV), a highly infective paramyxovirus, has caused sporadic epizootics characterized by high morbidity and increased mortality in nonhuman primates. Measles vaccines for human use, although effective, are cost prohibitive for use in primate colonies. We compared the efficacy of one or two doses of Vanguard D-M, a canine distemper-measles (CD-M) vaccine, with a single dose of Attenuvax, a human measles vaccine. Compared with 81% of animals inoculated with Attenuvax, all animals inoculated with one or two doses of Vanguard developed detectable MV antibodies. One year after immunization, six juveniles from each vaccine group, along with three unvaccinated controls, were challenged with pathogenic MV and were monitored for clinical signs of disease, viremia, viral shedding, and immune response. All uninoculated controls developed clinical disease and viremia, and shed virus in nasopharangeal secretions. Subclinical viremia without viral shedding was identified in two Attenuvax- and two single-dose Vanguard-inoculated animals. Viremia was not detected in any two-dose Vanguard-inoculated animals. Significantly higher neutralization antibody titers were observed in animals receiving Vanguard. Results of this study indicate that Vanguard is at least as efficacious as Attenuvax for protection of rhesus macaques. The considerably lower cost of Vanguard makes vaccination against measles in large breeding colonies economically feasible.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)467-472
Number of pages6
JournalComparative Medicine
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 2002

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)


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