Murdoch University Research Repository

Welcome to the Murdoch University Research Repository

The Murdoch University Research Repository is an open access digital collection of research
created by Murdoch University staff, researchers and postgraduate students.

Learn more

The use of a GnRH vaccine to suppress mare ovarian activity in a large group of mares under field conditions

Botha, A.E., Schulman, M.L., Bertschinger, H.J., Guthrie, A.J., Annandale, C.H.ORCID: 0000-0002-0525-8954 and Hughes, S.B. (2008) The use of a GnRH vaccine to suppress mare ovarian activity in a large group of mares under field conditions. Wildlife Research, 35 (6). pp. 548-554.

Link to Published Version:
*Subscription may be required


The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of active immunisation against GnRH on ovarian activity and serum progesterone concentrations in a large group of mares (10 control and 55 experimental) under field conditions as a model for wildlife species such as zebra and African elephants. Within the experimental group, mares were subdivided into three age categories: Category 1 (4 years and younger, n = 26), Category 2 (4–10 years old, n = 18), and Category 3 (≥11 years old, n = 11). Experimental mares were vaccinated intramuscularly with 2 mL (400 μg) of the GnRH vaccine Improvac (Pfizer Animal Health, Sandton, South Africa). Control mares received the same amount of saline solution. The vaccinations were repeated 35 days later. The ovaries and reproductive tracts of each mare were examined by means of rectal palpation and ultrasonography on Days 0, 35 and 70. Blood was collected weekly for determination of serum progesterone concentration until Day 175. On Day 35 after primary vaccination all of the control mares and 14.5% of the experimental mares showed evidence of ovarian activity on the basis of clinical examination and serum progesterone concentration. On Day 70, all control mares and none of the experimental mares showed evidence of cyclic activity. No age-related effect within treatment groups was found. The serum progesterone concentration indicated that all experimental mares remained in anoestrus until Day 175. Five of the control mares fell pregnant between Days 35 and 70. The five non-pregnant control mares continued to cycle until the end of the observation period. Having achieved such promising results in this trial we now plan to test the GnRH vaccine in Burchell’s zebra mares and African elephant cows.

Item Type: Journal Article
Publisher: CSIRO Publishing
Copyright: © 2008 CSIRO
Item Control Page Item Control Page