DNA vaccine may offer future sterilization option for cats and dogs

Over the years, researchers have explored various non-surgical options to spay and neuter surgery but as yet, have not come up with a viable option. (NEWStat reported on some of these options previously.) But a new player may be emerging.

Researchers from the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena have developed an intramuscular injection that results in long-term infertility in male and female mice, and which could have future implications for cats and dogs.

Results were published Oct. 5 in Current Biology.

The researchers designed a piece of DNA and injected it into muscles that became, in effect, GnRH antibody machines. (GnRH antibodies block the pathways that encourage egg and sperm development.) Subjects became infertile when mating two months later, reported Science Magazine.

“That 2-month delay is because of how long it takes the muscle to start producing enough antibody,” Bruce A. Hay, PhD, and lead researcher, told Science Magazine.

“We think the approach can be used with larger animals such as cats and dogs, based on work that others have done with different proteins in larger animals such as dogs, non-human primates, and even humans,” Hay told NEWStat.

Hay is currently conducting a pilot study on female cats in collaboration with the Cincinnati Zoo’s Center for Conservation and Research of Endangered Wildlife.

Photo Credit: © iStock/BlackJack3D


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