Protection of rabbits against experimental pasteurellosis by a streptomycin-dependent Pasteurella multocida serotype 3: A live mutant vaccine

Y. S. Lu, S. P. Pakes

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Pasteurella multocida (serotype 3:A) was isolated from rabbit with clinical signs of suppurative rhinitis. This P. multocida strain was mutagenized with N-methyl-N'-nitro-N-nitrosoguanidine to obtain a genetically stable streptomycin-dependent mutant, from which a live vaccine was prepared. Pasteurella-free rabbits were inoculated intranasally three times at weekly intervals and challenged intranasally with a virulent serotype 3:A rabbit P. multocida isolate 2 weeks after the third vaccination. The rabbits were killed 2 to 3 weeks later. The vaccine did not cause clinical disease, death, or gross or microscopic lesions. Furthermore, the vaccine protected the challenge rabbits from developing clinical disease, death, and gross lesions. However, mild focal lung lesions were noted in several of the vaccinated-challenged animals. In contrast, nonvaccinated-challenged rabbits developed pyrexia and anorexia. Furthermore, three of four of these rabbits died with severe gross lesions including pyothorax, suppurative pericarditis, and fibrinopurulent pneumonia. Microscopically, the four nonvaccinated rabbits had moderate to severe suppurative pneumonia and mild to moderate suppurative rhinitis, and two had mild tympanitis. The mutant vaccine did not appear to colonize the nasal cavities. The vaccine prevented the colonization of the virulent challenge organism in lungs, liver, spleen, genital tracts, and blood, but not the nasal cavities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1018-1024
Number of pages7
JournalInfection and Immunity
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1981


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology

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