Logan Wark, D.V.M.
Education: Bachelor of Science in biology (August 2012)
Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from Oklahoma State University
McNair Project: Humoral Antibody Production in Healthy Foals Following Vaccination at 90 and 180 Days of Age (2012)
Mentor: Elizabeth Davis, Ph.D.
The time at which maternally derived antibodies start to diminish puts any young animal at risk for a pathogen challenge, increasing the chances of acquiring disease or infection. Closing this interval between functioning maternal antibodies and antibodies derived from active immunity because of vaccination is beneficial to the health of the animal. In this study we investigated an accelerated vaccination regimen and its effect on foals born to properly vaccinated dams. Twelve foals were divided into two groups; experimental foals were vaccinated at 3 months of age, while control foals were vaccinated at the AAEP recommended age of 6 months. A SNAP test was used to confirm colostral ingestion within the first 24 hours of life.
Serum neutralization (SN) tests were used to determine at what titers foals were at, specifically for EHV-1 in this study. Experimental group was measured for SN antibodies at 3, 7, and 11.5 months of age; control group was measured at 3, 6, 9 and 11 months of age. In both groups, moderate to high levels of SN antibodies were seen at 3 months, waned around 6 to 7 months, and steadily increased around 11 months of age. This data suggests that foals can safely and effectively be vaccinated at 3 months of age without the hindrance by maternal antibodies or producing any adverse effects.