Nobivac Lyme is a bacterin that contains two inactivated strains of Borrelia burgdorferi comprised of outer surface protein A (OspA) and outer surface protein C (OspC). It is adjuvanted to elicit a strong and protective immune response. This bacterin is approved for the vaccination of healthy dogs as an aid in the prevention of subclinical arthritis caused by B. burgdorferi.
AdministrationNobivac Lyme is administered subcutaneously as an initial vaccination followed by a booster 2 to 4 weeks later. It can be given to dogs beginning at 8 weeks of age. Annual re-vaccination with Nobivac Lyme is recommended. One-year duration of immunity data is on file at the USDA.
Why Is Nobivac Lyme considered a new-generation Lyme vaccine? Nobivac Lyme is unique in this vaccine category. It is the first Lyme vaccine specifically designed to trigger high levels of borreliacidal antibodies against two Borrelia burgdorferi antigens—outer surface protein A (OspA) and OspC. The vaccine derives this ability to provide dual protection by combining two distinct isolates of B. burgdorferi—one traditional isolate that induces borreliacidal antibodies to OspA; and a second, unique isolate that induces high levels of OspC borreliacidal antibodies.1B. burgdorferi express OspA while in the tick’s midgut. After an infected tick attaches to a dog, the expression of OspC is increased as the tick begins taking a bloodmeal.2 This increased OspC expression continues throughout the early stages of mammalian infection.3 Therefore, OspC borreliacidal antibodies can provide enhanced protection both by targeting spirochetes in the tick midgut that escape killing by OspA borreliacidal antibodies, and by eliminating OspC-expressing spirochetes in the tick’s salivary glands or in the dog.
Why is Nobivac Lyme labeled as an aid in the prevention of subclinical arthritis caused by B. burgdorferi? Canine clinical arthritis due to Lyme disease occurs relatively late in the course of illness. Nobivac Lyme was shown in clinical trials to prevent the development of arthritis. However, in addition to assessing the effects of the vaccine on arthritic signs such as limping and lameness, investigators conducted histopathology studies to look for the subclinical joint inflammation that ultimately leads to clinical arthritis. The label is therefore worded differently than that for other Lyme vaccines.