Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Vaccines Effective 1 Wk After Vaccination

From Winn Feline Foundation Blog:

Response of Kittens to Vaccination

Jas, D., C. Aeberle, et al. (2009).

Onset of immunity in kittens after vaccination with a non-adjuvanted vaccine against feline panleukopenia, feline calicivirus and feline herpesvirus. Vet J 182(1): 86-93.

"Feline panleukopenia, calicivirus and herpesvirus are all significant and common pathogens of cats, and are highly contagious in susceptible populations... Kittens appeared to be protected from severe disease by one week post-vaccination... While a single vaccination with FPV induced rapid antibody production, two vaccinations with FCV and FHV were required for a similar response. While maternal antibodies will interfere with vaccinal response if present, this study shows that without maternal antibodies, vaccinal response occurs rapidly."

Note: Maternal antibodies are passed to the kitten during the first 48 hours after birth by nursing the mother, and are mostly in the colostrum, which the mother produces first. The kitten is able to absorb these antibodies easily during this time, and the maternal antibodies are known to last 16 weeks in the kitten, protecting them to some degree from diseases that the mother already has gained protection for. The effect of the maternal antibodies diminishes over time, however, so there is a period of time during which the maternal antibodies need to be supplemented with vaccinations. The maternal antibodies interfere with the vaccinations given before 16 weeks old so that the vaccinations given between four and 16 weeks old only last 3-4 weeks at a time.

Aksum Notes:
This is the latest in a series of medical studies of when and how many vaccinations should be given to kittens for the best protection against disease. Indoor kittens should be given at least two 3-in-1 modified live virus (MLV) vaccinations with the first vaccination no earlier than four weeks old and the last kitten vaccination at 16 weeks old or a little older. Ideally the 3-in-1 MLV vaccinations should be given at 8, 12, and 16 weeks old. I personally prefer the Merial 3-in-1 MLV vaccines. This study also shows that the vaccinations given at 16 weeks old or older are fully effective a week after the vaccination.

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