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Autogenous vaccination for management of cutaneous papillomatosis in bovines.


Cattle cutaneous warts (CCWTs) or papillomatosis of cattle is a viral neoplastic disease and spread from infected to wart free cattle, but not to man or other animals, except horses and buffaloes. Calves and yearlings get warts more easily than older cattle. Many small warts or a few large ones may weaken young cattle and slow their growth. Warts can damage hides permanently. Tanned hides have rough, weak spots where warts appeared. Seriously affected hides often contain pits or holes and looked moth eaten. Injured or traumatized warts often become open wounds that easily are infested with ecto-parasites causing myiasis or invaded by pathogenic organisms causing an ill thrift in animals. Hence warts are an important clinical entity and needs veterinary aids for clinical cure.

Warts usually disappear naturally without treatment as animals mature. Sometimes new warts form at site of earlier warts. Treatment is necessary in persistent cases of papillomatosis and seriously affected animals, and animals bearing numerous small or several larger warts on vital regions of body like eyes (orbital and peri orbital warts), vulva and vagina, scrotum and prepuce etc. (genital and para genital warts), anus and perineum (anal and perianal warts), teats and udder (mammary warts) and in extreme cases of papillomatosis, based on productive potentiality of animal and above all severity of infection and complication of wart lesions viz. fly blown condition, knocked down warts, bleed sore condition of traumatized or injured warts leading to open wound condition etc.

A number of drugs with variable efficacy have been tried to treat papillomatosis. Treatment reduces skin injury that would damage the hide, but it does not restore skin to top condition. Sony and Parekh (1977) successfully used some of homeopathic drugs in heifers. Somvanshi and Sharma (1986), Veena and Ravi Kumar (2002), Sharma et al. (2005) and many others made therapeutic studies on warts by homeopathic medication. Antimony preparations with varying efficacy had also been used (Rajguru et al., 1988 and Wadhwa et al., 1992) for treating valuable herds that do not respond to other treatment. Autogenous vaccine which is made from the warty tissue of affected animal has been tried in treating bovine papillomatosis (Wadhwa et al., 1995, Inayat et al., 1999, Rao et al., 2000,Turk et al., 2005).

The present communication deals with the study of effectiveness of auto-immunization on whole body papillomatosis of cattle.

Materials and Methods

Fifteen animals (age group 1-3 years) comprising six non-descript heifers (ND HF), four cross bred jersey (CBJ) HF, two ND male calves (MC) and two ND cows, bearing extensive cutaneous lesions resembling warts or papillomas were thoroughly examined for gross morphological studies including collection of both incisional as well as excisional biopsy materials for diagnosing the condition based on histopathological examination. Clinically ambiguous cases bearing raised, elevated lesions, not confirmed to be warts based on histopathological findings were not included in this study. Therapeutic studies were made with auto-immunization (autogenous vaccine, prepared from same animal). After thorough scrubbing, washing and cleaning by using detergent and proper rinsing by sterile normal saline solution, the wart tissues from different anatomical locations, were excised with sharp scalpel from each animal and collected in fifty per cent chilled Glycerine saline solution for preparation of autogenous vaccine. Warts with different colour and morphology, i.e. sessile and pedunculated, dark and light coloured were collected for preparation of vaccine. Wart tissues were cut into small pieces with help of surgical blades or sterilized scissors and homogenized with sterilized sands in sterile pestle and mortar and finally 10 per cent crude suspension was made with 50 per cent sterile Glycerine saline. The suspension was centrifuged at 3000 rpm for twenty minutes to remove the supernatant. The supernatant fluid was collected in a sterile tube. Antibiotics (2,00,00 of Procaine Penicillin and 250mg of Dihydro streptomycin sulphate) were added to prevent bacterial growth. The autogenously prepared vaccine was then kept in refrigerator until used (Prasad et al., 1980 and Sharma et al., 2003). The heifers with extensive wart lesions were administered @7 ml, cows@10 ml and calves @ 5 ml, by subcutaneous route at weekly interval with a total of three injections. To check the sterility of the prepared autogenous vaccine, representative vaccine samples were inoculated in blood agar, nutrient agar and MacConkey agar at 37[degrees]C for 48 hour and inoculated in Sabarouds agar at 37[degrees]C for 3-7 days. Thus autogenously prepared vaccines were administered @ 7 ml to the extensively affected heifers, cows@ 10 ml and calves @ 5 ml, by subcutaneous route at weekly interval with a total of four injections. Sterile glycerine saline solution was administered to 15 sick animals bearing extensive cutaneous warts (CWTs) @ 5-10 ml depending upon the age group of the animals at the neck region by S/C route at weekly interval that served as the control animals. The treated and control animals were examined every week and the wart lesions were compared with those of pre-treated period for regression studies or for studying clinical cure.


Detailed clinical, gross morphological examination of all fifteen animals revealed that in 10 animals the warts were numerous(n>100), small cauliflower like, grey white to black coloured with serrated hard, rough and dry top surface while in the remaining five animals the warts were of squat type (n, 30-50). In two ND HF the rough irregular cauliflower like growths enlarged 6-8 inches across (Fig. 1). Most warts received plentiful blood supply and found to bleed readily. One ND MC bearing confluent lesions all over the body was found unthrifty (Fig. 2). Haematological and urine examination did not reveal any abnormality. History revealed that all animals had been suffering from rapidly growing cutaneous lesions and majority of them had already suffered for more than six months.

Histological examination revealed fibropapillomatosis with acanthosis, hyperkeratosis and down growths of rete peges (Fig.3 and 4).

The size and shape of warts before and after administration of autogenous vaccine prepared from bovine wart lesions in sterile glycerine solution were compared and clinical alterations were ascertained based on diminution in size, gradual desiccation, separation from under lying dermal base or regression and complete clinical cure based on full regression or complete shedding of warts or complete recovery. No adverse reaction of vaccination were observed in any animal. Marked improvement in condition was noted after 30 days in treated group, characterized by progressive degeneration of wart tissues, shedding of old warts and nonappearance of fresh warts.

Regression of warts (diminution in size, drying, fissure formations and desiccation) in this mode of treatment started as early as 15 days post treatment (DPT) (n=3), sloughing or shedding of small warts started as early as 30 DPT (n=8), almost complete recovery or complete shedding of warts irrespective of size, shape and general appearance (morphology) was recorded in 8 animals (n=8) at 60 DPT and at 80 DPT rest of animals (five out of seven) completely cured. Two animals bearing large warts, needed surgical excision for complete clinical cure. In two untreated control animals, slight increase in size of warts were observed, while no appreciable change in number of size of warts were recorded in rest of control animals. No recurrence of wart was observed during six months post observatory period in clinically cured animals.







Bovine cutaneous papillomatosis is a contagious viral disease of cattle, caused by Bovine papilloma virus (BPV). There are twelve well characterized types of BPV-1 to 12 (Singh et al., 2009). It is not a life threatening disease, but causes serious economic loss to farmers (Salib and Fraghali, 2011). Diagnosis is usually based on clinical signs and electron microscopic studies and above all PCR based detection of viral types responsible for causation of wart. In the present study preliminary diagnosis was based on clinical signs and confirmatory diagnosis was based on transmission electron microscopic study(TEM) (Fig. 5), histopathology and PCR study, those revealed fibropapillomatosis caused by BPV-1 and 2 and mixed infection of both types. The coinfection by multiple BPV type is also common which is responsible for variation in morphology of warts developing in affected animal (Freitas et al., 2011). In the present study, size, shape and colour of warts were variable, suggesting involvement of several types of BPV.

Although various methods like autogenous vaccination, use of immunomodulators, paraimmunity inducers and drugs like Ivermectin, Levamisole and Potassium Antimony thiomalate are recommended in treatment of bovine papillomatosis, the successful treatment still remains challenging (Hatama, 2012). All fifteen animals showed response to autogenous vaccination therapy. Complete clinical cure occurred in all thirteen animals showing 86.66% success rate and nearer to complete cure in rest two animals, showing 13.44% incomplete success. The papillomatous growth gradually dried up and there was gradual regression in size of warts followed by their sloughing, leaving either scar marks or cutaneous sores. Successful outcome of present study is justified by Turk et al. (2005).

Complete regression of CWTs was observed within 30-80 days post therapy. These findings are in agreement with the findings of Radostits et al. (2007), who described the efficacy of autogenous vaccine to be 80-85 percent against CWTs. The regression of warts is mediated by cellular immunity and the autogenous vaccines stimulate the immune system against the papilloma viruses. The variation of response may be attributed to type of virus involved, developmental stages of papillomas, method of collection of papilloma tissues and preparation of vaccine, schedule of vaccination and immune function of the infected animal. In the present study the use of autogenous vaccine led to continual regression of cutaneous tumors possibly by gradual elevation of lymphocytic activity in treated group of animals which is in agreement to Paulik et al. (2001).

From the present study, it can be concluded that autogenous vaccine is effective in treatment of bovine cutaneous papillomatosis.


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Debasis Jana (1) and Samir K. Mukherjee

Department of Microbiology

University of Kalyani

Nadia - 741235 (West Bengal)

* Part of PhD Thesis submitted to University of Kalyani

(1.) Corresponding author.

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Title Annotation:Clinical Article
Author:Jana, Debasis; Mukherjee, Samir K.
Publication:Intas Polivet
Article Type:Report
Date:Jul 1, 2015
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