Survival and immunization of raccoons after exposure to pseudorabies (Aujeszky's disease) virus gene-deleted vaccines

Ronald M. Weigel, Edwin C. Hahn, Gail Scherba

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In a controlled experiment, 16 wild-trapped raccoons were exposed to 1 of 2 genetically modified live pseudorabies virus (PRV) vaccines used in swine. One vaccine had genes deleted for thymidine kinase (TK-) and glycoprotein G (gG-); the other had an additional deletion for glycoprotein E (gE-). These vaccines were administered orally and intranasally at four dose levels: 103, 104, 105, and 106 TCID50. The 21 days survival rate was 37.5% for the gG-TK- vaccine; all of the survivors developed antibodies to PRV. All animals receiving the gG-gE-TK- vaccine survived; 75% (all except the lowest dose) developed anti-PRV antibodies. Survivors were challenged intranasally with a 3.2×103 TCID50 dose of the virulent wildtype PRV Shope strain. Two of the remaining three gG-TK- vaccinated raccoons survived the challenge; for the gG-gE-TK- vaccine, the survival rate was 50% (4/8). The raccoons with higher vaccine-induced antibody titers were more likely to survive the challenge with the virulent PRV; there was a 100% mortality rate for raccoons lacking detectable anti-PRV antibodies. This experiment indicates that exposure of raccoons to modified live gene-deleted PRV vaccines may result in an immune response, and that this immunity provides some protection against exposure to virulent virus.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)19-24
Number of pages6
JournalVeterinary Microbiology
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Mar 20 2003


  • Epidemiology
  • Immunization
  • Pseudorabies virus
  • Raccoons
  • Vaccine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • veterinary(all)


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