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West Nile DNA Vaccine Available For Horses

Fort Dodge Animal Health of Overland Park, Kan., has launched a vaccine for horses

Cumulative 2008 Data as of Nov.18; National Cumulative Veterinary Disease Cases =186

Courtesy of U.S. Geological Survey

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Fort Dodge Animal Health of Overland Park, Kan., has launched a vaccine for horses to aid in the prevention of viremia caused by the West Nile virus.

The company, which worked in collaboration with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, says its West Nile-Innovator DNA is the first DNA vaccine fully licensed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

The vaccine uses purified DNA plasmids to stimulate an immune response, unlike conventional vaccines that rely on the foreign proteins derived from disease-causing agents. It contains no live or killed viruses, no live vector or viral proteins, and there is no risk of reversion to virulence, according to Fort Dodge Animal Health.

The vaccine provides a 12-month duration of immunity after two initial doses, and according to field safety studies of 645 male and female horses of various breeds and ages, it is greater than 99 percent reaction-free. Annual revaccination requires one dose.

The product will be sold only to veterinarians, who are required to sign a user compliance agreement indicating they will use the vaccine within their practice if an established veterinarian-client-patient relationship exists.

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