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Investigation of repeated vaccination as a possible cause of glomerular disease in mink

  • Shelley Joy Newman
  • Roger Johnson
  • William Sears
  • Brian Wilcock
Publication Date
Jul 01, 2002
  • Biology
  • Medicine


The search for antigens capable of causing immune-complex-mediated glomerulonephritis continues. Modified live-virus vaccines commercially available for veterinary use are a possible source. In this study, repeated vaccination of mink with live-virus vaccines was investigated as a model for vaccine-induced glomerular injury. Three groups of 10-wk-old mink, 15 per group, were vaccinated once with 4-way vaccine against distemper, Pseudomonas aeruginosa infection, botulism and mink viral enteritis. Subsequently, all mink in each group each were vaccinated either with the 4-way vaccine, a monovalent canine distemper vaccine, or saline. Glomerular function was assessed at 2-wk intervals by determining the urinary protein:creatinine (P:C) ratio. Kidney sections taken at necropsy, 20 wk after the 1st vaccination, were examined by light and immunofluorescent microscopy for deposition of immunoglobulin and complement. There was no statistically significant difference between the treated and control groups based on average urinary P:C ratio medians. Light microscopic changes were detected in glomeruli, but Fisher's exact test showed no significant differences between any of the treatment groups. Deposition of immunoglobulin but not complement was significantly more frequent (P < 0.05) in the glomeruli of animals that received multiple injections of the 4-way vaccine than in the glomeruli of those given only the monovalent canine distemper vaccine or saline. These findings suggest that repeated vaccination may increase the glomerular deposition of immunoglobulin. Further studies are required to determine if the increased deposition of immunoglobulin contributes to the development of glomerular damage and to identify the antigens driving production of the deposited immunoglobulin.

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