Active vaccination against interleukin-5 as long-term treatment for insect-bite hypersensitivity in horses.

Fettelschoss-Gabriel, Antonia; Fettelschoss, Victoria; Olomski, Florian; Birkmann, Katharina; Thoms, Franziska; Bühler, Maya; Kummer, Martin; Zeltins, Andris; Kündig, Thomas M; Bachmann, Martin F; Bachmann, Martin F. (2019). Active vaccination against interleukin-5 as long-term treatment for insect-bite hypersensitivity in horses. Allergy, 74(3), pp. 572-582. Wiley 10.1111/all.13659

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BACKGROUND Insect-bite hypersensitivity (IBH) in horses is a chronic allergic dermatitis caused by insect bites. Horses suffer from pruritic skin lesions, caused by type-I/type-IV allergic reactions accompanied by prominent eosinophil infiltration into the skin. Interleukin-5 (IL-5) is the key cytokine for eosinophils and we have previously shown that targeting IL-5 by vaccination reduces disease symptoms in horses. OBJECTIVE Here, we analyzed the potential for long-term therapy by assessing a second follow-up year of the previously published study. METHODS The vaccine consisted of equine IL-5 (eIL-5) covalently linked to a cucumber mosaic virus-like particle (VLP) containing a universal T cell epitope (CuMV ) using a semi-crossover design to follow vaccinated horses during a second treatment season. Thirty Icelandic horses were immunized with 300 μg of eIL-5-CuMV without adjuvant. RESULTS The vaccine was well tolerated and did not reveal any safety concerns throughout the study. Upon vaccination, all horses developed reversible anti-eIL-5 auto-antibody titers. The mean course of eosinophil levels was reduced compared to placebo treatment leading to significant reduction of clinical lesion scores. Horses in their second vaccination year showed a more pronounced improvement of disease symptoms when compared to first treatment year, most likely due to more stable antibody titers induced by a single booster injection. Hence, responses could be maintained over two seasons and the horses remained protected against disease symptoms. CONCLUSION Yearly vaccination against IL-5 may be a long-term solution for the treatment of IBH and other eosinophil-mediated diseases in horses and other species including humans.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


04 Faculty of Medicine > Department of Dermatology, Urology, Rheumatology, Nephrology, Osteoporosis (DURN) > Clinic of Rheumatology, Clinical Immunology and Allergology

UniBE Contributor:

Bachmann, Martin


600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health








Valery Beer

Date Deposited:

08 Jan 2019 14:52

Last Modified:

23 Oct 2019 09:52

Publisher DOI:


PubMed ID:


Uncontrolled Keywords:

allergic dermatitis eosinophils vaccination




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