Six bitches free of canine herpesvirus 1 (CHV-1) were vaccinated against the virus; a first injection was given 10 days after the presumed date of mating and a second six weeks later. Six similar bitches were left unvaccinated as controls, and all the pups were challenged oronasally with a virulent strain of cHv-1 at three days of age. All the vaccinated bitches seroconverted and had high antibody titres when the puppies were challenged, but the control bitches remained seronegative. In the control group, 62 per cent (18 of 29) of the pups died of cHv-1-induced disease; most of them showed typical clinical signs and macroscopic lesions, and CHv-i infection was confirmed by the isolation of the virus or by PCR. None of the puppies in the vaccinated group died of CHV-1 infection. The efficacy of the vaccine was confirmed in cHv-1-positive breeding units. The rate of pregnancy tended to be higher in vaccinated bitches and the mortality of pups before weaning was significantly reduced in the litters born to vaccinated bitches.
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