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Prototype covid vaccine developed for cats

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The Complutense University of Madrid (UCM) has published in the scientific journal ‘Research in Veterinary Science’, a study in which they show the. efficacy of a prototype vaccine against covid in cats..

“In our study we evidenced a high efficacy of the vaccine prototype. in limiting SARS-CoV-2 viral replication in cats.which would help to control animal-to-animal transmission and prevent them from acting as potential sources of infection.“, indicates Sandra Barrosoresearcher at the Viral Immunology and Preventive Medicine Service of the UCM.

This experimental study, which has been carried out at the Veterinary Health Surveillance Center (VISAVET) of the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine of the UCM, in collaboration with the Microbial Immunology Unit of the Carlos III Institute of Health, is part of the project ‘Study of the potential impact of covid on pets and lynxes’..

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In a first phase of the trial, two animals were vaccinated intramuscularly with the prototype vaccine. The cats were monitored for possible secondary reactions and serum samples were also taken to evaluate antibody production.

About 35 days after vaccination, the animals were transferred to the high biosafety laboratory (level 3) of the center along with two control animals, where they were were infected with SARS-CoV-2 virus. to evaluate the response to the disease.

To minimize risks to the research personnel, the animals were. housed in an isolator that filtered the exhaust air.. The animals, in addition to daily veterinary care, were provided with environmental enrichment to maximize their well-being. The duration of the infection period and evaluation of the response to the disease was 21 days.

Efficacy

“Our vaccine prototype has demonstrated to be effective in this regardIn the case of one of the vaccinated animals, the infection was completely prevented, while in the other it was limited to the upper respiratory tract region and the upper respiratory tract. without excretion of infectious virus“, indicate the UCM researchers.

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The animals vaccinated had a strong immune response based on neutralizing antibodies which, as is the case in vaccinated humans, helped control the infection.

“Although covid is not currently of great relevance in veterinary medicine, the continuing emergence of mutations in the virus could lead to the emergence of new variants that would clearly affect animals.. Unfortunately, we cannot rule out new scenarios in which the epidemiology of the disease changes. Therefore, it is important to have tools for control and prevention for the different susceptible species,” concludes Barroso-Arévalo.

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