20 March 2006
Intervet Inc., a leading manufacturer of animal health vaccines, introduced today Continuum™ DAP, the first and only canine vaccine approved by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) for three-year duration-of-immunity (DOI) against DAP (distemper, adenovirus, parvovirus). ContinuumTM DAP allows veterinarians for the first time to ethically adhere to the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA)‘s triennial vaccination guidelines for core (routine for most dogs) vaccines involving three serious and potentially deadly diseases. The vaccine contains attenuated strains of canine distemper virus (CDV), adenovirus type 2 (CAV-2), and parvovirus (CPV). Intervet unveiled Continuum™ DAP today during the annual meeting of the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA).
“Continuum™ DAP is the first and only safe, efficacious canine vaccine that earned approval by the USDA for proven three-year DOI for the three core vaccine antigens widely considered important to be administered to all dogs,” said Sebastien Huron, DVM, Director, Companion Animal Business Team, Intervet Inc. “Continuum™ DAP now offers the only option for veterinarians who want to progress to three-year protocols with the strength of an approved label. As a three-year core vaccine, Continuum™ DAP can be a central treatment in a program of annual vaccination protocols involving other antigens such as Bordetella, Lyme, Leptospira, and Corona.”
Continuum™ DAP was evaluated based on the Code of Federal Regulations (9CFR) criteria for both serologic and real-time challenge-efficacy results. “Veterinarians can feel confident that they are practicing the best medicine for dogs by providing complete protection over three years,” said Dr. Huron.
The Canine Vaccine Guidelines (AAHA)
In 2003, the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) Canine Vaccine Task Force published the Canine Vaccine Guidelines and Recommendations. The new guidelines bypassed traditional annual revaccination protocols to recommend the use of triennial protocols for certain core canine vaccines, including CDV, CAV-2, and CPV. However, the AAHA did not recommend to veterinarians how they should implement the new guidelines into their practices. Furthermore, there have been no vaccines approved by the USDA for use at three-year intervals. As a result, some veterinarians who believed that three-year vaccination protocols are the best medical decision for their canine patients had no option but to use vaccines designed for annual use on an off-label basis (with the exception of rabies vaccine). Now, with the approval of Continuum™ DAP, a triennial vaccine can be administered according to its approved label. Continuum™
DAP Evaluated Using Challenge-of-Immunity Testing
Continuum™ DAP has been evaluated in dogs with challenge-of-immunity testing methodologies, which are considered the gold standard for evaluating vaccine efficacy. To evaluate the efficacy of the vaccine, vaccinated dogs were compared with agematched controls challenged three years following initial vaccination.
Signs of disease were seen in 100 percent of the non-vaccinated control dogs, whereas clinical signs of infection were prevented in 100 percent of the vaccinated dogs challenged with CAV-1, CDV, or CPV, respectively.
Duration-of-immunity was observed after three years. Sero-negative pups, vaccinated at seven and 11 weeks of age were isolated for three years (36 months) following the last vaccination and then challenged with virulent CAV-1, CPV, and CDV. Serum antibody titers were measured throughout the isolation period and were found to remain at high levels. At 36 months post-vaccination, the average titer for CAV-2 was found to be 1:357, for CDV was 1:193, and for CPV was 1:237. The findings established that the modified-live viruses in Continuum™ DAP protect against virulent CAV-1, CDV, and CPV challenges in dogs seven weeks of age or older for a minimum of three years following second vaccination.
Tailoring Vaccination Practices
According to Karen Duncan, DVM, Intervet Inc., a triennial vaccine should be the foundation for developing an annual vaccination protocol that meets the needs of each individual patient. “Differences exist among patients, their lifestyles, and related disease risks, as well as between individual vaccines. Thus, the best approach is to evaluate each dog’s risk factors and tailor vaccination to the specific needs of the patient rather than to a routine protocol,” says Dr. Duncan.
Incorporating a triennial vaccine into clinical practice can benefit the patient, the client and the veterinarian alike, Dr. Duncan says. First, it allows dogs to be vaccinated according to their specific needs. Second, the cost to the client for a single three-year dose can be about the same as three doses of annual vaccines. Lastly, it broadens the choices available to veterinarians to apply the best medicine available. Of course, the use of fewer vaccines decreases the risk of any vaccine-related reactions.
According to Dr. Ernest Ward, Jr., a veterinary practice management expert and owner of Seaside Animal Care in Calabash, North Carolina, administering a triennial vaccine allows veterinarians to focus on other health issues during annual exams, so the use of a triennial vaccine does not have to result in loss of income to the practice and should in fact, enhance pet care. “Planning and client communication is important to successful implementation of a program that supports excellent patient care and the business goals of the veterinary practitioner,” said Dr. Ward. “Switching to three-year vaccination protocols can fit well into existing vaccination programs, regular exams, and wellness visits.”
About Continuum™ DAP
Continuum™ DAP may be used in dogs as young as six weeks. Booster injections are indicated every three to four weeks until the dog reaches 12 weeks of age. Dogs older than 12 weeks should receive two doses, administered three to four weeks apart. Revaccination with a single dose is recommended every three years after that.
The Continuum™ DAP vaccine contains three attenuated strains: high-titered Onderstepoort strain of CDV; Manhattan strain of CAV-2, which confers cross-protection against canine infectious hepatitis caused by CAV-1 without the adverse reactions associated with CAV-1; and the high-titered patented CPV STRAIN 154® of canine origin.
Extensive safety testing has shown that CPV STRAIN 154® and the distemper component of Continuum DAP are safe when given to puppies as young as four weeks of age.
For more information about Continuum™ DAP, please visit www.continuum3.com.