Equine coronavirus (ECoV) is considered an emerging enteric virus with reported morbidity rates ranging from 10 to 83% and fatality rates ranging from 7 to 27% in adult horses; a vaccine for ECoV is currently not available. This study investigated the safety, humoral response and viral shedding in horses inoculated with a commercially available modified-live bovine coronavirus (BCoV) vaccine. Twelve healthy adult horses were vaccinated twice, 3 weeks apart, either orally, intranasally or intrarectally. Two healthy unvaccinated horses served as sentinel controls. Following each vaccine administration, horses were monitored daily for physical abnormalities whilst the onset and duration of BCoV shedding was determined by quantitative PCR (qPCR) in nasal secretions and faeces. Whole blood was collected every 3 weeks to determine BCoV-specific antibody response. With the exception of transient and self-limiting changes in faecal character observed in seven vaccinated and one control horse, no additional abnormal clinical findings were found in the study horses. Following the first and second vaccine administration, two and one horse, respectively, tested qPCR-positive for BCoV in nasal secretions 1-day post intranasal vaccination. No vaccinated horses tested qPCR-positive for BCoV in faeces following each vaccine administration. One of the two horses that shed BCoV seroconverted to BCoV after the first vaccine administration and an additional two vaccinated horses (oral and intrarectal) seroconverted to BCoV after the second vaccine administration. In conclusion, the results show that the modified-live BCoV is safe to administer to horses via various routes, causes minimal virus shedding and results in detectable antibodies to BCoV in 27% of the vaccinates.
- bovine coronavirus
ASJC Scopus subject areas