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Keywords:

  • contraception;
  • immunocontraception;
  • surplus animals;
  • ungulates

Abstract

A contraceptive vaccine made of porcine zonae pellucidae (PZP) was tested in three Przewalski's mares and five banteng cows. The vaccine antigen consisted of the complete family of glycoproteins of the porcine zona pellucida, including the sperm receptor ZP3. All mares and three of five banteng were inoculated with 2 or 3 i.m. injections of approximately 65 μg of antigen given over a 6 week period. Two other banteng received inoculations of only 35 μg of antigen on the same schedule. Two of the three mares and three of five banteng cows were pregnant at the time of inoculation. No new pregnancies, as a result of postinoculation breedings, occurred among either the mares 36 months after 65 μg antigen inoculations or among the banteng for 24 months after 65 μg inoculations. One postinoculation pregnancy resulted among the two banteng receiving only 35 μg of antigen. Differences in fertility between treated and control mares and between preinoculation and postinoculation reproductive performance of the banteng were significant (P < 0.05). Urinary ovarian steroid metabolites and behavioral observations indicated follicular development and ovulations were occurring among treated mares during the year following PZP inoculations. PZP immunization produced progressively elevated anti-PZP antibodies in both species, which provided contraceptive protection. PZP immunization appears to be an effective form of contraception in both species. © 1995 Wiley-Liss, Inc.