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Autogenous vaccination for management of bovine papillomatosis.


Infectious papillomatosis or wart is a disease occurring in cattle, goats, dogs, rabbits, horses and humans in various parts of the world. Bovine papillomatosis is a contagious disease of cattle occurring as warts/papilloma on skin and mucosa, caused by BPV types 1 to 10 (Vidhya et al., 2009). Papilloma virus infection in cattle can result in weight loss and retarded growth. These neoplasms most often regress spontaneously, occasionally persist and in the presence of additional critical genetic or environmental factors, can progress to cancer (Campo, 1987). Furthermore, papillomavirus infection in cattle could be connected with serious disorders of metabolism (mainly mineral, energetic and nitrous) probably caused by damage of liver and kidney with mutagenic, carcinogenic and immunosuppressive cadmium, arsenic and lead, observed in serum of tested animals (Lesnik et al., 1999). Infection by BPV occurs as a result of virus exposure to single or multiple lesions of the epithelium. Papilloma viral infection, transformation and multiplication of basal cells, lead to wart formation, but most warts are benign and do not proliferate indefinitely (Shah and Howley, 1996).

Different methods have been used to treat bovine papillomas. A formalinized suspension of bovine warts with inactivated virus provides a vaccine for effective treatment and prophylaxis of bovine papillomatosis (Lesnik et al., 1999; Suveges and Schmidt, 2003). Intra-lesional immunotherapy by Coryne-bacterium parvum has also been reported (Hall et al., 1994). There are no reports about therapy of bovine papillomatosis using the autogenous vaccine inactivated in the 70 percent alcohol.

The present clinical report describes the use of an autogenous vaccine in cattle as a successful treatment method for infectious papillomatosis.

Materials and Methods

Total 15 cases of cattle (Gir and Gir cross) were reported with history of bovine papillomatosis, out of which 11 were females and four were males with age range from 0.5 to 7 years. At the time of examination, the animals had multiple papillomas, varying in size from 0.5 to 70 mm in diameter, disseminated on the ears, head, neck, shoulders, eye lid, back, vulva and nose (Fig. 1, 2 and 3). The animal was apparently healthy. The warts strongly attached to the dermis. The diagnosis of bovine papillomatosis was arrived at on the basis of presented clinical signs, since the structure of the papillomas on the skin was easily observed and identified. However, a few papillomas from each animal were surgically removed in order to confirm the diagnosis by histopathology and for the preparation of an autogenous vaccine.

Histopathology: Surgically obtained tissue samples were immediately immersed in 10 per cent neutral buffer formalin at room temperature for at least 48 hrs before processing. Fixed specimens were dehydrated through graded alcohols and embedded in paraffin wax; 6 [micro]m-thick serial sections were cut, stained with haematoxylin and eosin (HE) and examined with a light microscope.

Autogenous vaccine preparing and treatment of animals

Sample from older growths were resected under aseptic conditions, triturate the sample in 2 ml of 70 percent alcohol, to inactivate the virus. After trituration, filter through muslin cloth and mixed with 18 ml of distil water. The animal was treated using autogenous vaccine administered in doses of 20 ml subcutaneously as a single time dose.


Diagnosis was based on presented clinical signs and histopathological findings. Grossly, tumor tissue was composed of hyperplastic epidermis supported by thin, inconspicuous dermal stalks. In all cases histopathology revealed fibropapillomatosis with acanthosis, hyperkeratosis and down-growth of rete ridges. The virus appears to infect the basal cells of the epithelium, causing hyperplasia with hydropic ballooning of their cytoplasms, large eosinophilic keratohyaline granules and vesicular nuclei. Some cells degenerated, while others were stimulated to excessive growth and formation of warts (Fig. 4). Administration of autogenous vaccine caused sloughing of the warts from the affected areas. Regression of papillomas occurred in about 2 weeks after treatment and within 8 weeks, all warts spontaneously slough off and animal showed complete recovery. No recurrences of papillomas have been observed in treated animals after the 6 months of treatments.


Although bovine papillomatosis is a self-limiting disease of the animal, in our study the papillomas were long lasting without any sign of regression for months. Reports of bovine papillomatosis treatment with vaccine produced from 70 percent alcoholised suspension of wart tissue indicate uneventful recovery. Infectious papillomatosis is most often seen in calves and young cattle less than 3 years of age, although adult bovine animals may become infected. Although, cutaneous papillomas are usually benign but those of alimentary tract may become malignant. Successful treatment of papillomatosis has been a great challenge for field practitioners in a single time treatment. Commercially available vaccines are less efficacious and need multiple treatments. Different methods have been used to treat bovine papillomas. Surgical intervention may not be possible if a large area is involved and sometimes aggravates the condition. Effective medicines for wart are not available.

The autogenous vaccine was used single time for treatment of animals. In the present study, all the animals recovered within 8 weeks of treatments, without any case of reoccurrence post treatments up to 6 months of treatments. Reports of bovine papillomatosis treatment with vaccine produced from formalinized suspension of wart tissue indicate variable results. Lesnik et al. (1999) reported that treatment with vaccine showed 93.5 percent efficiency with no difference in the used vaccine after 105 days of vaccination. Suveges and Schmidt (2003) showed autogenous vaccination made from sterile homogenized tumour tissue and, performed twice, prevented new cases and with sick animals recovering after vaccination. Smith (1990) reported treatment with autogenous wart vaccine sometimes failed. Commercial vaccines for cattle rarely seem to effectively promote regression of existing warts or to prevent malignant progression, although they may be capable of preventing the development of new lesions if the same strain is involved (Smith, 1990; Campo, 1991; Scott and Anderson, 1992). In the present study, treatment with vaccine showed 100 percent recovery in all animals without any reoccurrence cases, autogenous vaccination made from sterile homogenized tissue which was administered single time only and vaccine inactivated in 70 percent alcohol. In present study, results showed the efficacy of bovine papillomatosis treatment with the autogenous vaccine inactivated in 70 percent alcohol inducer in the manner of earlier regression of papillomas. Data reported previously based on the treatment only with autogenous vaccine showed a longer period necessary for animal recovery then we obtained (Scot and Anderson, 1992; Lesnik et al., 1999). Additionally, we consider that our treatment could be appropriate in the all stage of papilloma and early stage of disease (growing stage of warts) when surgical intervention is contraindicated due to possibility of recurrence of papillomas. In present study, we treated 15 animals in that manner, we believe that vaccine preparation and inactivation in 70% alcohol showed beneficial effect in treatment of bovine papillomatosis. However, our hypothesis needs to be clarified and proved in further studies. We consider that, it is important to compare reports of new cases to obtain a better insight into etiology, pathogenesis and different methods of treatment.


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Campo, M.S. (1991). Vaccination against papilloma virus. Cancer Cell. 3: 421-26.

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Smith, B.P. (1990). Papillomatosis (warts, fibropapillomas). In: Large Animal Internal Medicine (Smith, B. P., Ed.). The C. V. Mosby Company, Missouri.

Suveges, T. and Schmidt, J. (2003). Newer data on the occurrence in Hungary of losses caused by and ways of control of bovine papillomatosis. Magy. Allatorvosok 83.

Vidya, S., Somvanshi, R. and Tiwari, A.K. (2009). Papillomatosis in Indian cattle: Occurrence and etiopathology. Indian J. Vet. Patho. 33: 52-57.

J.V. Vadalia (1), A.C. Virani (2) and P.B. Patel (3)

Department of Veterinary Surgery and Radiology

College of Veterinary Science and Animal Husbandry

Junagadh Agricultural University

Junagadh--362001 (Gujarat)

(1.) Assistant Professor and Corresponding author E-mail:

(2.) Veterinary Officer, Veterinary Polyclinic, Jamnagar

(3.) Professor
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Title Annotation:Clinical Article
Author:Vadalia, J.V.; Virani, A.C.; Patel, P.B.
Publication:Intas Polivet
Article Type:Report
Geographic Code:9INDI
Date:Jul 1, 2013
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