Studies have shown that Bordetella bronchiseptica (B. bronchiseptica) is widespread in the feline population and is associated with URTD. An intranasal vaccine which reduces the clinical signs associated with B. bronchiseptica infection is now commercially available (Nobivac Bb for cats, Intervet). The aim of this study was to ascertain whether the vaccine is safe to use in pregnant queens.
A total of 110 pregnant queens were used in this study. Ninety-six queens were vaccinated intranasally with 10^7.3 CFU of B. bronchiseptica strain B-C2. The remaining 14 served as unvaccinated controls. All of the queens were observed daily after vaccination until parturition and all kittens were observed for one week after parturition for overall health and well being. The data for the number of queens conceiving, total litter size, number of stillborn kittens and the number of kittens surviving were recorded and statistically analyzed using a Wilcoxon-Mann-Whitney rank sum test.
Seventy-eight of the 110 queens used in the study produced litters of kittens including 67 vaccinates and 11 controls. Of these 78 queens, at the time of vaccination 23 vaccinates and 3 controls were in their first trimester, 21 vaccinates and 4 controls were in their second trimester and 23 vaccinates and 4 controls were in their third trimester. No clinical signs attributable to the vaccine were observed in any animal between vaccination and parturition. Likewise, no clinical signs attributable to the vaccine were observed in any of the kittens during the one-week observation period. There was no statistically significant difference between vaccinates and controls in terms of any of the reproductive parameters assessed nor was there any variation in the effect of treatment according to trimester.
These results show that a single vaccination with Nobivac Bb for cats is safe in pregnant queens at all stages of pregnancy.