Friday, January 4, 2013

Veterinary Highlights: Pioneering Vaccine Against Canine Monocytic Ehrlichiosis (CME)

Do you remember the history of penicillin? Penicillin was discovered by chance, in 1928, after Alexander Fleming accidentally left a dish of staphylococcus bacteria uncovered for a few days. The mold that had contaminated the experiment turned out to contain a powerful antibiotic.

Ehrlichiosis is a bacterial infection that is spread by ticks.

Typical canine monocytic ehrlichiosis is caused by Ehrlichia canis , which infects monocytes, white blood cells that are part of the innate immune system of dogs. These cells are involved in chronic infections or inflammation.

Canine ehrlichiosis is also referred to as canine hemorrhagic fever or canine typhus.

I figured those terms paint a clearer picture. Did I mention I hate ticks?

Dr. Harrus, dean of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem’s Koret School of Veterinary Medicine in Rehovot, was not trying to find a vaccine.

He was attempting to determine how long a tick must be attached to a dog in order to transmit CME, using bacteria cultured in their lab. Two of the dogs in their experiment failed to become sick. They realized they were onto something important.

The attenuated Ehrlichia canis strain may serve as an effective and secure future vaccine for canine ehrlichiosis.

Certainly interesting.

Source article:
Israeli vets formulate new vaccine for dogs

Further reading:
Evaluation of an attenuated strain of Ehrlichia canis as a vaccine for canine monocytic ehrlichiosis
Ehrlichiosis and Related Infections
Ehrlichia Infection in Dogs
Ehrlichiosis in Dogs

1 comment

  1. This really is good news for areas of the country where ehrlichiosis is a serious problem