The clinical efficacy of a recombinant feline interferon (IFN) (type omega) was evaluated under field conditions for the treatment of dogs with parvoviral enteritis. In this multicentric, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial, 94 dogs from one to 28 months old were randomly assigned to two groups which were treated intravenously either with IFN (2·5 million units/kg) or placebo once a day for three consecutive days, and monitored for clinical signs and mortality for 10 days. Each dog received individual supportive treatment. The data from 92 interpretable cases (43 IFN-treated and 49 placebo) showed that the clinical signs of the IFN-treated animals improved significantly in comparison with the control animals, and that there were only three deaths in the IFN group compared with 14 deaths in the placebo group (P=0·0096) corresponding to a 4·4-fold reduction. Alternative analyses of the data taking into account the prior vaccination status of the dogs against canine parvovirus suggested that the IFN therapy resulted in a 6·4-fold reduction in mortality (P=0·044) in the unvaccinated cohort, a significant reduction when compared with the vaccinated cohort.
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