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Keywords:

  • Contraceptive vaccine;
  • dog ZP3;
  • wildlife population control;
  • zona pellucida glycoproteins

Citation Gupta SK, Srinivasan VA, Suman P, Rajan S, Nagendrakumar SB, Gupta N, Shrestha A, Joshi P, Panda AK. Contraceptive vaccines based on the zona pellucida glycoproteins for dogs and other wildlife population management. Am J Reprod Immunol 2011; 66: 51–62

Zona pellucida (ZP) glycoproteins, by virtue of their critical role in fertilization, have been proposed as candidate antigens for the development of contraceptive vaccines. In this review, the potential of a ZP-based contraceptive vaccine for the management of wildlife population, with special reference to street dogs, is discussed. Immunization of various animal species, including female dogs, with native porcine ZP led to inhibition of fertility, which was associated with the ovarian dysfunction. Immunization of female dogs with Escherichia coli-expressed recombinant dog ZP glycoprotein-3 (ZP3) either coupled to diphtheria toxoid or expressed as fusion protein with ‘promiscuous’ T non-B-cell epitope of tetanus toxoid also led to inhibition of fertility. To improve the contraceptive efficacy of ZP-based contraceptive vaccine, various groups are working on improving the immunogen, use of DNA vaccine as prime-boost strategy, and delivering the zona proteins/peptides presented on either virus-like particles or entrapped in microsphere. Host-specific live vectors such as ectromelia virus and cytomegalovirus have also been used to deliver mouse ZP3 in mice. Various studies show the enormous potential of the ZP-based vaccine for the management of wildlife population, where permanent sterilization may be desirable.