In order to test whether the vaccination protects the horses from developing insect bite hypersensitivity a challenge experiment has to be performed where the vaccine is tested under real conditions.
Twenty-seven horses have been vaccinated at Keldur intralymphatic three times with 4 week interval with nine purified allergens in Alum/MPL. The horses were transported to Switzerland 16th of March 2020. They will be kept in Culicoides areas and be naturally exposed to the midges for 3 summers. No protection is allowed. The horses will be monitored, blood samples taken on a regular basis and clinical examination performed to look for evidence of IBH supervised by Dr Eliane Marti Vetsuisse Faculty, University of Bern. For more see Horses of Iceland:
Unvaccinated control horses were not exported at the same time as it has be shown that at least 50% of horses exported from Iceland to Culicoides infested areas and not protected develop IBH (Björnsdóttir et al., 2006; Torsteinsdottir et al., 2018).
Picture: Gunnar Freyr Gunnarsson