ISSN 2398-2977      

Hendra virus vaccine

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Introduction

Name

  • Hendra virus vaccine.
  • Equivac HeV (Zoetis Australia); developed by CSIRO’s Australian Animal Health Laboratory (AAHL).

Class of drug

  • Subunit vaccine, which means it contains only a small part of the actual Hendra virus (a G glycoprotein from the virus surface) adjuvanted with an immunostimulating complex.
    • 100 µg/ml of Hendra virus G glycoprotein per dose.
    • The vaccine cannot cause the viral disease in any vaccinated horse or any other animal or human.
  • Protective antibodies against the virus have been detected in vaccinated horses approximately 3 weeks after the second vaccination.
  • Clinical trials showed complete protection when vaccinated horses were exposed to a lethal dose of Hendra virus:
    • There was no evidence that infection could be established, or that the virus was shed from the trial horses, following vaccination.
    • Its effectiveness in sick horses or in the face of a Hendra virus disease outbreak has not been studied.
  • The vaccine was initially released under a Minor Use Permit issued by the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA) dated the 3rd August 2012 after meeting all essential safety, quality and efficacy requirements.
  • The vaccine can only be administered by veterinarians who have been accredited online to carry out this procedure. Production, routine quality and safety testing is undertaken on each batch of the vaccine.
  • A national equine vaccination register is established by the manufacture so that all details of all horses that have been vaccinated with this vaccine are recorded and available to consult.
  • Subsequently it became fully registered by the APVMA on the 5th August 2015. It can only be administered by a veterinarian and this, and its storage, must be in accordance with the recommended guidelines issued by the Equine Infectious Diseases Advisory Board (EIDAB).

Description

Chemical name

  • Contains 100 µg sG protein per ml with 0.1 mg/ml thiomersal added.

Molecular formula

  • Text here

Molecular weight

  • Text here

Physical properties

  • Text here

Storage requirements

  • 2-8°C/35.6-46.4°F in normal compartment of the refrigerator.
  • Do not freeze.

Uses

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Indications

  • Vaccination of horses and ponies against Hendra virus disease Hendra virus disease.
  • The disease has only been reported in Australia and was first detected in southern Queensland in 1994. More recently it has been reported in New South Wales and west of the Great Dividing Range.
  • Hendra virus Hendra virus is related to, but distinct from another deadly virus, Nipah virus, which was first recognised during a disease outbreak affecting pig farmers and pigs in Malaysia. The two viruses form a new genus, Henipavirus, in the family Paramyxoviridae.
  • It has killed or lead to the euthanazia of over 90 horses and a small number of in-contact humans have died from Hendra virus infection (4). It is thought the fruit bat or flying fox species (4 different species are known in Australia) are the natural host for the virus (unaffected by it), and transmission from the bat to the horse is via feed contaminated with fruit bat urine, feces or other body fluids. Horse to horse spread can occur, and human infection is through close contact with respiratory secretions and /or blood from an infected horse.
  • Hendra virus is a notifiable disease in Australia.
  • The Equine Infectious Diseases Advisory Board and the Australian Veterinary Association have recommended that all horses in Australia are vaccinated against Hendra virus to help protect horse and human health.

Administration

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Pharmacokinetics

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Precautions

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Interactions

With other drugs

  • Research on the safety of concurrent vaccination of other vaccines alongside the Hendra virus vaccine has not been published but it is considered unlikely they would reduce the effectiveness of each vaccine component. It may, however, increase the chances of vaccine reactions such as minor swellings, pain or fever.

With diagnostic tests

  • At the present time there is no diagnostic test available that can differentiate vaccinated horses from those that have been naturally infected with the virus.
  • This may cause problems with certain specific countries during export formalities and it is important to check each exporting country’s specific recommendation in these circumstances.
  • There are no restrictions to New Zealand, EU, UK, and the Americas.

Withdrawal Period

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Adverse Reactions

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Further Reading

Publications

Refereed Papers

Other sources of information

  • Middleton D et al (2014) Hendra virus vaccine, a One Health approach to protecting horse, human, and environmental health. Emerg Infect Dis 20 (3), 372-379 EIDOnline.

Organisation(s)

  • Australian Government, Department of Agriculture and Water Resources -
    Manual of Importing Country Requirements. Website: http://micor.agriculture.gov.au.

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