Original Research

A potential krimpsiekte vaccine

C.J. Botha, J.E. Crafford, V.P. Butler Jr., M.N. Stojanovic, L. Labuschagne
Onderstepoort Journal of Veterinary Research | Vol 74, No 4 | a117 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ojvr.v74i4.117 | © 2007 C.J. Botha, J.E. Crafford, V.P. Butler Jr., M.N. Stojanovic, L. Labuschagne | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 13 September 2007 | Published: 13 September 2007

About the author(s)

C.J. Botha,
J.E. Crafford,
V.P. Butler Jr.,
M.N. Stojanovic,
L. Labuschagne,

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Krimpsiekte, a chronic form of cardiac glycoside poisoning, is an important plant-induced intoxication of small stock in South Africa. It is caused by cumulative, neurotoxic bufadienolides, such as cotyledoside. A cotyledoside-bovine serum albumin conjugate was synthesized to immunize animals. The efficacy of the cotyledoside-conjugate in inducing an immunological response was ascertained in rabbits (n = 4) and sheep (n = 4) by determining cotyledoside antibody titres with an ELISA using cotyledoside-hen ovalbumin as antigen. The formation of anticotyledoside antibodies was induced in both rabbits and sheep following immunization with the cotyledoside-protein conjugate. Protection provided by the vaccine was demonstrated by challenging sheep (n = 4) with repeated, daily doses of cotyledoside (0.015 mg / kg) administered intravenously, commencing 45 days after the initial vaccination. One control animal died on Day 3 of the challenge period and the other was severely affected after administration of the third cotyledoside dose. The immunized ewes (n = 2) remained clinically unaffected and the challenge was suspended following six daily injections. Vaccination as a means of preventing krimpsiekte seems to be quite feasible and deserves further investigation.


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