Journal of Hygiene

Research Article

The duration of immunity in cattle following inoculation of rinderpest cell culture vaccine

W. Plowrighta1*

a1 A.F.R.C. Institute for Research on Animal Diseases, Compton, Newbury, Berkshire, RG16 ONN, U.K.


The duration of immunity following a single administration of rinderpest cell culture vaccine, of 90 or more monolayer passages, was studied in E. African zebu (Boran) and grade (cross-bred European) cattle. All animals were kept for periods of 6–11 years in rinderpest-free environments; groups of them (in all 23 Borans and 10 grades) were then challenged by parenteral or intranasal inoculation of virulent virus or by contact exposure to reacting cattle. Nasal excretion of virus was studied daily over the 10-to 14-day period following challenge, and simultaneous attempts were made to detect viraemia. The neutralizing antibody response was followed at 6-month intervals over the whole post-vaccination period and then daily for 10 days and at longer intervals to 3 weeks after challenge.

All 33 animals which were exposed by various routes failed to react clinically and a rinderpest viraemia was never detected. No transmission of virus from the vaccinates to susceptible in-contact controls occurred within 14 or more days, from the 20 animals which could be so tested. Clearcut serological responses to challenge were seen in six cattle (four Borans and two grades) which were challenged after 7 years or more; these reactions were all delayed to the 9th or 10th days, i.e. they were not typically ‘anamnestic’.

These results are discussed in relation to mass vaccination campaigns for the control of rinderpest and from the comparative viewpoint of measles vaccination in man.

(Received January 03 1984)

(Accepted January 31 1984)


* The work reported here was all carried out at the (then) East African Veterinary Research Organisation, P.O. Box 32, Kikuyu, Kenya, E. Africa.