759: Investigation of Antigenic Causes of Vaccine-Associated Allergic Reactions in Dogs

Grant Status: Closed

Grant Amount: $31,631
George E. Moore, DVM, PhD; Purdue University
January 1, 2007 - December 31, 2008

Sponsor(s): American Miniature Schnauzer Club, Inc., SCWTCA Endowment, Inc., Tibetan Terrier Club of America/Tibetan Terrier Health & Welfare Foundation

Breed(s): -All Dogs
Research Program Area: Immunology and Infectious Disease
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Project Summary

Researchers at Purdue University were funded by the AKC Canine Health Foundation to identify causes of vaccine-induced allergic reactions. Small dogs in general, and several specific breeds, are known to be at higher risk for these reactions. Although the precise cause of allergic reactions in dogs remains unknown, vaccine components residual from the manufacturing process have been incriminated. These vaccine components need to be identified if possible, so that manufacturers can make vaccines safer for dogs. This study compared antibody concentrations in dogs recently experiencing allergic reactions after vaccination to the antibody concentrations in dogs of the same breed that were vaccinated but didn't have reactions. Comparisons were made by measuring the serum antibody (lgE) reactivity against selected vaccine components. Although samples were solicited from several breeds, only Beagles and Dachshunds provided enough samples for breed-specific comparisons. Grouped together without regard to breed, there were no significant differences between the 46 allergic reactors' and the 50 non-reactors' antibody responses to any of the 7 assayed antigens. When evaluated by breed, however, Beagles demonstrating allergic reactions immediately after vaccination had greater serum response to two vaccine components (fibr.onectin and thyroglobUlin) compared to the responses of vaccinated asymptomatic littermates. Dachshunds with reactions did not have greater serum response to any of the measured vaccine components, and in two assays the serum response of nonreactors was actually greater than for reactors. As voluntary submissions, however, the Dachshunds in these two groups were not related nor did they receive the same vaccines. The results of this study indicate that different vaccine components can stimulate antibody response immediately after vaccination, but not all dogs with high response show clinical signs of an allergic reaction. This suggests that dogs with post-vaccinal allergic reactions may have a genetic predisposition which affects the release of chemical mediators from mast cells, and there may not be a vaccine component common to all or most allergic reactions. Further information related to the study will be posted at: http://www.vet.purdue.edu/k9vaxrxn/.


Moore, G. E., & HogenEsch, H. (2010). Adverse Vaccinal Events in Dogs and Cats. Veterinary Clinics of North America: Small Animal Practice, 40, 393–407. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cvsm.2010.02.002

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