Vaccinations and titer testing - German Shepherd Dog Forums
 
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 04-22-2013, 08:45 AM Thread Starter
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Vaccinations and titer testing

Hi, on another forum, some people are having a huge argument about vaccination protocols with pets.

I am in the less is more camp, and while I believe in vaccinating, I don't believe in over-vaccinating.

When titer testing was suggested, a few people are arguing that it's not an accurate test? Is this true? Are they better in recent years? Have studies been done to prove this?

These few people won't take anything other than studies conducted and published by the AVMA. I linked a study that showed over 95% of dogs had good immunity to parvo and distemper vaccines for life and it seems that is still not good enough.

Basically, I don't see what point they're trying to make. In theory, they have no idea if their dog still has immunity for the diseases they've been vaccinated for, regardless of is they do titer testing or not, or if they revaccinated or not.

But I thought I'd see if there were any credible sources of information on titer testing and how accurate it is?
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 04-22-2013, 09:04 AM
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The only thing I have seen from a credible source (A presentation by Dr Ford, emeritus NC state) is that titers are good for distemper and parvo, less so for some of the other diseases and that just because a dog who developed immunity has the titer later drop low does NOT mean the dog is no longer protected. All it means is no circulating antibodies but that the memory cells still hold the info to launch a succesful attack if infected again.

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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 04-22-2013, 12:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blackshep View Post
Hi, on another forum, some people are having a huge argument about vaccination protocols with pets.

I am in the less is more camp, and while I believe in vaccinating, I don't believe in over-vaccinating.

When titer testing was suggested, a few people are arguing that it's not an accurate test? Is this true? Are they better in recent years? Have studies been done to prove this?

These few people won't take anything other than studies conducted and published by the AVMA. I linked a study that showed over 95% of dogs had good immunity to parvo and distemper vaccines for life and it seems that is still not good enough.

Basically, I don't see what point they're trying to make. In theory, they have no idea if their dog still has immunity for the diseases they've been vaccinated for, regardless of is they do titer testing or not, or if they revaccinated or not.

But I thought I'd see if there were any credible sources of information on titer testing and how accurate it is?
They're right - titer tests are not 100% accurate. I don't have a reference on hand, but I can tell you what we see in our research on vaccine response in humans and be pretty certain that the general idea is the same in dogs and cats.

We see people with high titers that are not protected, but it is rare. Some of these people have other immune system defects that inhibit their immune response after producing antibody. There is more of a problem with titers that are close to whatever threshold is considered protective for a specific vaccine - those thresholds are chosen after testing with a limited population, so aren't going to be 100%. The longer a vaccine is around, the better the fine-tuning for the threshold should get. And, of course, there are the problems with a really low titer still being protective.
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 04-22-2013, 12:14 PM
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What I read was that distemper immunity is likely for life. Parvo seems to run around 7 or so years based on titer studies but then dogs are probably constantly reimmunizing themselves to parvo in the environment and I don't know if the study dogs are.

Modified Live Vaccines (MLV) tend to confer longer lasting immunity than killed vaccines with an adjuvant (needed to produce inflamation to promote immune response)

Rabies is a killed vaccine. Lepto is a killed bacterial vaccine (bacterial vaccines have less duration of immunity than viral vaccines). DHPP are typically MLV though some killed products still exist.

Titers are also good at verifying immunity as some dogs may not, for some reason, develop an immune response and may need another vaccination.

Nancy



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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 04-22-2013, 02:32 PM
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when I titer I titer for distemper/parvo only. Interesting on the 7 year thing, my aussie hadn't had vac's in years, I titered when she was around 8, her parvo reading was low, I did a half dose of parvo vax , re titering two years later, showed she was fully covered..so it probably was around 7 years when she'd had her last parvo..(as a puppy)

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