The effect of field feline viral rhinotracheitis (FVR) virus challenge on cats previously vaccinated with a combined FVR/feline calicivirus intramuscular vaccine was studied in relation to the development of an FVR carrier state. There was no virus shedding of either of the two vaccine viruses following vaccination. Treatment with corticosteroid 60 days after vaccination and before challenge with FVR virus did not induce virus re-excretion in vaccinates or controls; neither did similar treatment induce shedding 63 days after challenge of both vaccinates and controls with virulent field virus. After a further 55 days however, FVR virus shedding was elicited in one of four previously vaccinated and challenged cats compared with two of four unvaccinated and challenged controls. Two sentinel cats remained virologically and serologically free of FVR throughout. The vaccine was shown to be effective in controlling the disease; 12 weeks after initial vaccination no clinical signs were seen in three of four cats following intranasal challenge with 10(5)CCID50 of virulent field FVR virus, and a mild transient unilateral ocular and nasal discharge was seen in the remaining cat for one day only. Severe clinical signs of approximately 10 days' duration were seen in all four unvaccinated challenged controls. The virological and serological responses of the cats were also recorded.
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