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Coronavirus infections in the laboratory rat: degree of cross protection following immunization with a heterologous strain

Coronavirus infections in the laboratory rat: degree of cross protection following immunization with a heterologous strain

Canadian Journal of Veterinary Research 58(3): 224-229

One hundred and twenty-one specific pathogen-free male Wistar rats eight to ten weeks of age were used to evaluate the efficacy of Parker's rat coronavirus (PRC) in affording cross protection on subsequent challenge with virulent sialodacryoadenitis (SDA) virus. Sixty-two animals were inoculated intranasally on day 0 and 21 days later with approximately 10-2 median tissue culture infective doses (TCID-50) of the tenth passage of PRC replicated in L-2 cells. Animals were selected at random postvaccination to evaluate the safety and efficacy of PRC by histopathology, immunohistochemistry and serology. At three and six months postvaccination (PV), vaccinated and seronegative control rats were inoculated intranasally with approximately 10-3 TCID-50 doses of virulent SDA virus. Challenged rats were then killed at 6, 10 and 14 days postchallenge and necropsied. Evaluations were based on lesion indices in lacrimal and salivary glands and respiratory tract, the presence of viral antigen by immunohistochemistry, and antibody response. Lesions were observed in rats killed PV, but in general, they were significantly reduced compared with those present in seronegative animals postexposure to virulent SDA virus (p lt 0.05). However, they were still considered to be an unacceptable level for a routine vaccination procedure. Postvaccination antibody titers to rat coronavirus were evident in all animals tested at three or six months prior to challenge with SDA virus. In PRC-vaccinated rats challenged with SDA virus at three or six months PV, there was a significant reduction in the incidence and extent of the lesions in the lacrimal and salivary glands and the upper and lower respiratory tract compared to challenged age-matched control rats (p ltoreq 0.05). Significant cross protection to infection with SDA virus was provided in rats vaccinated with PRC for up to six months postvaccination.

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Accession: 008391184

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PMID: 7954126

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