Free Access
Vet. Res.
Volume 35, Number 4, July-August 2004
Equine infectious diseases
Page(s) 425 - 443
How to cite this article Vet. Res. (2004) 425-443
Vet. Res. 35 (2004) 425-443
DOI: 10.1051/vetres:2004019

Equine viral vaccines: the past, present and future

Jules Maarten Minkea, Jean-Christophe Audonnetb and Laurent Fischerc

a  Department of Project Management, Merial SAS, Bâtiment 35 G, 254 rue Marcel Mérieux, 69007 Lyon, France
b  Department of Molecular Biology, Merial SAS, Bâtiment 38.4, 254 rue Marcel Mérieux, 69007 Lyon, France
c  Department of Gene Therapy, Merial SAS, Bâtiment 38.4, 254 rue Marcel Mérieux, 69007 Lyon, France

(Received 4 August 2003; accepted 13 January 2004)

Abstract - The increasing international movement of horses combined with the relaxation of veterinary regulations has resulted in an increased incidence of equine infectious diseases. Vaccination, along with management measures, has become the primary method for the effective control of these diseases. Traditionally modified live and inactivated vaccines have been used and these vaccines have proven to be very successful in preventing disease. However, there are a number of equine infectious diseases for which conventional technology has shown its limitations. The advent of recombinant technology has stimulated the development of second generation vaccines, including gene deleted mutants, live vectored vaccines and DNA vaccines. These vaccines have in common that protective antigens are endogenously processed and presented along the molecules of the MHC I and MHC II complex, resulting in the stimulation of both humoral and cell-mediated immune responses similar to natural infection. The present paper provides a review of the vaccines being employed today against the most important equine viral diseases followed by a summary of new developments that are expected to bring improved vaccines to the market in the foreseeable future.

Key words: horse / viral diseases / vaccinology / novel strategies

Corresponding author: Jules Maarten Minke

© INRA, EDP Sciences 2004