As part of a search for a safe and efficacious strangles vaccine, several different vaccines and different vaccination routes were tested in foals. The degree of protection was evaluated after an intranasal challenge with virulent Streptococcus equi by clinical, postmortem and bacteriological examinations. Inactivated vaccines containing either native purified M-protein (500 pg per dose) or whole S equicells (1010 cells per dose) administered at least twice intramuscularly at intervals of four weeks, did not protect against challenge. Different live attenuated S equi mutants administered at least twice at intervals of four weeks by the intranasal route were either safe but not protective or caused strangles. In contrast, a live attenuated deletion mutant administered intramuscularly, induced complete protection but also induced unacceptable local reactions at the site of vaccination. Submucosal vaccination in the inner side of the upper lip with the live attenuated mutant at.108 colony-forming units per dose, appeared to be safe and efficacious in foals as young as four months of age. The submucosal vaccinations caused small transient swellings that resolved completely within two weeks, and postmortem no vaccine remnants or other abnormalities were found at the site of vaccination.
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