In this study, to evaluate the influence of strangles vaccination on serological test results, we investigated the changes in strangles serum antibody levels in horses after vaccination and subsequent intranasal challenge with S. equi. The horses were vaccinated for strangles with either a component vaccine (Group C) or a live vaccine (Group L). We measured changes in strangles serum antibody levels weekly for 20 weeks after vaccinating horses twice for strangles over a 3-week interval, and for 7 weeks after intranasal challenge with S. equi in the same horses. Serum antibody responses to the proline-glutamic acid-proline-lysine (PEPK) antigen with five repetitions (PEPK-5R) were higher at all times (up to 2.4-fold) following vaccination in Group C than in Group L, and the value peaked at 2.9-fold above the initial value after the second vaccination in Group C horses. However, the value was lower than that in horses infected with S. equi, and it gradually decreased, reaching the initial (week 0) value by the 15th week. Serum antibody responses to PEPK-5R after challenge with S. equi increased in both groups of horses, but the value tended to be lower than that reported for unvaccinated horses. In addition, the average value in Group C was 2.6-fold higher than that of Group L. These results suggest the serum antibody responses of horses infected with S. equi varies according to the type of vaccine with which they have been vaccinated. Although the serological diagnostic test for strangles in which PEPK-5R is used as an antigen is effective for the investigation of serum antibodies to strangles in vaccinated horses, the present data suggest it is necessary to consider the vaccination history when interpreting the results.
Genetic contributions of nine historically important ancestors and allelic diversity in the Japanese Thoroughbred population were examined by applying the gene dropping simulation to the foals produced from 1978 to 2005. Full pedigree records traced to ancestors (base animals) born around 1890 were used for the simulation. Alleles originated from some of the historically important ancestors were found to be at risk of future extinction, although their genetic contributions to the foal population have increased during the last three decades. The proportion of surviving alleles to the total alleles assigned to the base animals was 8.0% in the foal population in 2005, suggesting that a large part of genetic variability contained in the base animals is extinct in the current population.