ACC&D Think Tanks

Immunocontraceptive Approaches for Sterilization of Dogs and Cats

November 19-21, 2009

Immunocontraception (the stimulation of an animal’s immune system, generally using a vaccine, to prevent fertility) has been researched for at least forty years. One immunocontraceptive vaccine, made using porcine zona pellucida and now registered with the EPA as ZonaStat-HTM, has been used for years to control wild horse populations. GonaCon™, a Gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) vaccine developed by the USDA National Wildlife Research Center, has U.S. Environmental Protection Agency approval for use in female white-tailed deer and wild horses/burros. Unfortunately, immunocontraceptive options to date have fallen short for dogs given challenges identifying a product that offers a long duration of efficacy without adverse side effects. GonaCon™ had shown much more promise for cats.

Researchers (several funded through Michelson Grants) are striving to develop vaccine options that improve immune response, extend duration of impact, and reduce potential for adverse effects. ACC&D contributed to this effort by convening multiple experts in this field to collectively explore approaches that might get us to a single-dose, long-lasting, and safe immunocontraceptive vaccine for dogs and cats. Think Tank participants addressed limitations and explored the potential for incremental as well as breakthrough improvements, concluding the event with enthusiasm for successful immocontraceptive prospects.

For more information on this Think Tank, you can view the Think Tank report and 4th International Symposium presentation. For general information about this sterilization approach, please visit our Immunological Approaches overview. Learn more about the 2015/2016 sponsored study of GonaCon™ in cats here.

Thank you to the Found Animals Foundation and the Animal Assistance Foundation for sponsoring this event!

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