Scientists from the Animal Health Trust (AHT), the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, the Karolinska Institute, and Intervacc AB, have developed a new protein-based vaccine to protect horses from strangles. Strangles, caused by Streptococcus equi bacteria, leads to large pus-filled abscesses in horses’ throat and neck.
The research was recently published in Vaccine.
“ … Our Strangvac vaccine protected over 80 percent of horses from this dreadful disease,” said Jan-Ingmar Flock, Ph.D., CEO of Intervacc AB, the company that produced the vaccine. “Strangles is a scourge of the equine world and the development of Strangvac has the potential to prevent many thousands of horses from falling ill each year.”
“Strangvac is an extremely exciting vaccine,” said Dr. Andrew Waller, head of bacteriology at AHT. “The vaccine was designed using information from sequencing the DNA of Streptococcus equi and highlights the potential that the genome-era heralds for improving the health of animals and people. Improving the health of horses is a core aim of the Animal Health Trust and we are proud to have helped make this vaccine a reality towards finally breaking the hold this disease currently has on our horses.
“Transfer of the manufacturing process and production of commercial batches are underway towards the registration and launch of Strangvac, and we anticipate that Strangvac will be available for use during 2020,” Flock added.