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ISSN : 2287-7991(Print)
ISSN : 2287-8009(Online)
Journal of the Preventive Veterinary Medicine Vol.46 No.1 pp.9-15
DOI : https://doi.org/10.13041/jpvm.2022.46.1.9

Effectiveness of Escherichia coli-expressed STF2-GnRH as an immunocontraceptive vaccine in female cats

Yoonju Cho,Byung Joo Park,Bo Ram Hwang,Young Ah Lee,In Soo Choi,Jin Soo Han
Department of Companion Animal, Seojeong University, Yangju 11429, Republic of Korea,Department of Infectious Diseases, College of Veterinary Medicine, Konkuk University, Seoul 05029, Republic of Korea,Department of Laboratory Animal Medicine, College of Veterinary Medicine, Konkuk University, Seoul 05029, Republic of Korea,Department of Biotech & Laboratory Animal, Shingu University, Seongnam 13174, Republic of Korea,Department of Infectious Diseases, College of Veterinary Medicine, Konkuk University, Seoul 05029, Republic of Korea,Department of Laboratory Animal Medicine, College of Veterinary Medicine, Konkuk University, Seoul 05029, Republic of Korea

Abstract

Long-term non-surgical contraceptive methods for cats, especially community cats, are of global interest for cost-effective and humane reasons. This study aimed to investigate the effectiveness of a gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH)-based vaccine for immunocontraception and to confirm its safety in intact female cats. Recombinant Salmonella typhimurium flagellin fljB (STF2)-GnRH protein was expressed in Escherichia coli. We divided female cats into vehicle control group (n = 4) and two experimental groups (100 μg injection group [n = 7] and 1000 μg injection group [n=7]), and immunized them twice intramuscularly (0.2 mL/cat at zero week and 4 weeks later into the other leg). Breeding trials started on day 120. All control cats (n = 4/4), 71% of the 100 μg injection group (n = 5/7), and 57% of the 1000 μg injection group (n = 4/7) became pregnant within 203 days after the introduction of male cats. The 1000 μg injection group had significantly a longer median time to conception following treatment (166 days) than the control (17 days, p < 0.05). Average litter size was significantly lower in the 1000 μg GnRH-vaccinated cats (2.8 ± 0.7) than in the control cats (4.5 ± 0.5, p < 0.05). Injection site reactions were not observed in any cat. The E. coli-expressed STF2-GnRH vaccine did not provide contraception in a sufficient proportion of the cats. However, it might be effective to suppress fertility through infertility vaccines before inducing permanent infertility through the trap-neuter-return.

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