Use of an anti-GnRF vaccine to suppress estrus in crossbred Iberian female pigs

Antoni Dalmau, Antonio Velarde, P. Rodríguez, C. Pedernera, Pol Llonch, E. Fàbrega, N. Casal, Eva Mainau, M. Gispert, V. King, N. Slootmans, A. Thomas, M. Mombarg

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20 Citations (Scopus)


Antibodies against GnRF elicited by vaccination with Improvac are expected to have the same effects on the gonads of female pigs as those observed in males and thus suppress estrus. The objective of this study was to evaluate whether a 3- or a 4-dose regimen of Improvac was effective in inducing and maintaining suppression of estrus in intact Iberian female pigs through 14 months of age. Sixty 18-week-old gilts were randomly assigned to one of the following three treatment groups: control (PBS injected), V3 (3-dose Improvac regimen), and V4 (4-dose Improvac regimen). Animals were tested for the presence of standing estrus in the presence of a boar three times per week until study completion at 60 weeks of age. Blood samples were regularly collected to determine the serum levels of anti-GnRF antibodies and progesterone. The weight and size of the uterus and the weight and activity of the ovaries were assessed at the time of euthanasia. For both treatment groups V3 and V4, a large reduction in the incidence of standing estrus was observed when compared to the control group (P < 0.0001). No significant differences between the V3 and V4 groups were observed. Both V3 and V4 groups had higher serum anti-GnRF antibody levels than the control group from 28 days after the first vaccination until the end of the study. In addition, both V3 and V4 groups had lower levels of progesterone than the control group from Day 112 until the end of the study (P < 0.0001 in all cases). Mean ovary weights at study end in treatment groups V3 and V4 were significantly lower (P < 0.0001) than those for the control group and not significantly different between the V3 and V4 groups. An onset of immunity of 2 weeks after the second vaccination and a long-lasting immunity of at least 20 weeks after the third vaccination were observed. In summary, both the 3-and 4-dose Improvac regimens were efficacious in reducing the incidence of standing estrus, serum progesterone levels, and the development of the uterus and ovaries.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)342-347
Number of pages6
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • Estrus
  • Gilt
  • Heat
  • Reproduction
  • Sow
  • Vaccine


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