Canine monocytic ehrlichiosis (CME) is a major, potentially fatal, tick-borne dog disease prevalent worldwide.
No commercial vaccine for the disease is currently available and tick control is the main preventive measure against the disease.
Now, Yissum Research and Development Company of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, introduces a vaccine against CME, which was developed by Professors Shimon Harrus and Gad Baneth, from the Koret School of Veterinary Medicine, Faculty of Agricultural, Food and Environmental Quality Sciences at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
The vaccine has proven effective in an experimental study in dogs, which was recently published in the prestigious journal Vaccine.
Profs. Harrus and Baneth developed the vaccine from a proprietary attenuated strain of Ehrlichia canis, the bacteria that causes CME. The efficiency of the attenuated strain as a vaccine was assessed on 12 dogs, which were divided into three groups.
Four dogs were inoculated (vaccinated) with the attenuated Ehrlichia strain twice, four dogs only once and the last group of four dogs served as the control group.
The vaccinated dogs showed no clinical signs after the inoculation, suggesting that the novel vaccine is safe for use and does not induce adverse effects.
When the dogs were infected with a virulent Ehrlichia field strain, the control dogs all developed a severe disease, whereas only three of the eight vaccinated dogs presented mild transient fever and the rest remained healthy.
"Canine monocytic ehrlichiosis is a serious dog disease that can lead to death. Current treatment includes supportive care, and a harsh and lengthy antibiotic treatment, which may not be effective in chronic infections. The vaccine developed by Profs. Harrus and Baneth is the first vaccine to prove effective against this disease," said Yaacov Michlin, CEO of Yissum.
Michlin continued, "The current lack of vaccine for CME, the growing awareness of the market and the growing market needs make this invention particularly attractive, and Yissum is currently looking for commercial partners for further development and commercialization purposes."