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Efficacy of autogenous vaccine and auto-hemotherapy in bovine cutaneous papillomatosis.


Cutaneous papillomatosis is a benign proliferative neoplasm caused by papilloma virus belonging to the family Papovaviridae (Jelinek and Tachezy, 2005). Cutaneous papillomas usually appear as multiple, sessile or pedunculated, circumscribed grey-white to dark brown black outgrowth, which may be smooth surfaced, spherical or horny (Singh et al., 2009). Papillomas may appear on skin over different body parts, but neck, eyelids, teats and lower line of abdomen are the most common sites. It is a contagious disease, usually transmitted via direct contact, contaminated food and equipment, flies, castration and injections. Although the papillomas usually regress spontaneously within 1 to 14 months due to the animal's immune response without significant scarring, they occasionally can persist and progress to squamous cell carcinoma (Campo et al., 1994). Furthermore, papillomavirus infection in cattle could be connected with disorders of the metabolism, probably secondary to damage of the liver and kidney (Lesnik et al., 1999). Papillomas on teats may cause difficulty in milking and suckling by calf and sometimes, pedunculated papillomas snap-off causing mastitis and teat infections (Singh and Somvanshi, 2010).

Several treatment options like antimony preparations (Dileepkumar and Ansari, 2012), homeopathic drugs (Umadevi and Umakanthan, 2013), autogenous vaccines (Rao et al., 2000), and ivermectins (Borku et al., 2007) have been tried with varying degree of success. The present report describes successful management of bovine papillomas by two different theraputic regimens.


The study was carried out in a private dairy farm, housing about 110 cattle and 205 buffaloes. The owner reported that about 5 months back, papillomas were observed in a newly purchased cattle. Since there was only few small papillomas and the cattle was lactating, the owner did not bother for its segregation or treatment. But, after 3 months, several young animals developed the disease. At the time of first observation, one heifer had numerous large papillomas located mostly over the neck, eyelids, pinna, face and abdominal region (Fig. 1). It was advised to segregate the animal from the herd. Six other animals were also suffering from the disease, the four were moderately affected with 20-30 large papillomas in the neck region and few ocassional small papillomas over other body parts. The other two cattle had very small 5-10 small papillomas in the neck and abdominal region. The four moderately affected animals were selected for the treatment and the rest two were left untreated to serve as positive control. Out of four animals, two received only autogenous vaccine (group 1) while two other received autogenous vaccine alongwith autohemotherapy (group 2). All six animals were kept isolated in a shed located in the corner of the dairy farm.

For preparation of autogenous killed vaccine, papillomas with different colour and morphology, i.e. sessile and pedunculated, dark and light coloured were collected after surgical incision randomly from all the four animals. They were trichurated using a mortar and pestle. Twenty gram of the trichurated papilloma tissues was mixed with 500 ml sterile Normal Saline Solution and the mixture obtained was filtered using Whatman filter paper no. 1. Formalin solution (2 ml) and 1.5 g gentamicin sulfate was added to the mixture and the solution obtained was stored at 40C for 2 days (Fig. 2). Thereafter, 1,2, 3, 4 and 5 ml of this autogenous vaccine was administered subcutaneously to each animal on day 1, 3, 5, 7 and 9 respectively. For auto-hemotherapy, 10 ml of venous blood was collected by jugular venipuncture and injected deep intramuscularly in the same animal at weekly interval for four weeks. No adverse reaction of vaccination or auto-hemotherapy was observed in any animal. Marked improvement in the condition was noted after 3 weeks in both groups, characterized by progressive degeneration of wart tissues, shedding of old papillomas and non-appearance of fresh warts (Fig. 3). However, the rate of regression of warts was slow in group 1 as compared to group 2 animals. Almost complete recovery was recorded after one and a half months in group 2, while it took about 2 months in group 1 animals to achieve complete recovery. In one untreated control animal, slight increase in number and size of warts were observed, while no appreciable change in number of size of papillomas were recorded in another control animal. The heifer with severe papillomatosis, which was segregated from the herd and not included in the present study, died after 3 months.


Bovine papillomatosis is a contagious cutaneous viral disease of cattle caused by Bovine Papillomavirus (BPV). There are ten well characterized types of BPV-1 to 10. The co-infection by multiple BPV is also common which is responsible for variation in morphology of the papillomas developing in the affected animal (Freitas et al., 2011). In the present study, size, shape and colour of papillomas were variable, suggesting involvement of several types of bovine papilloma viruses.

The pathogenesis of papillomatosis is governed by several factors including inheritance, nutritional and hormonal disorders, sunlight and suppressed immune system (Campo et al., 1994). There is significant relationship between development of papillomas and immune status of the host. The disease occurs in severe form in mostly immunocompromised patients. This phenomenon is well documented in human papillomatosis (Lutzner, 1985). Papillomas most often regress spontaneously. However, it may occasionally persist and in the presence of additional critical genetic or environmental factors, can progress to cancer (Campo et al., 1994). The regression of papillomas is mediated by cellular immunity. Paulik et al. (2001) noted that blastogenic activity of lymphocytes decrease in bulls suffering from persisting cutaneous papillomatosis and use of autologous vaccine led to continual regression of the tumors and gradual elevation of lymphocytic activity. Unfortunately, no effective commercial prophylactic or therapeutic vaccines against papillomatosis are available in the Indian market (Maeda et al., 2007). By large, autogenous vaccines are used for therapy that gives variable response (Sreeparvathy et al., 2011). 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 administration and immune function of the patient.

In the present study, rapid regression of warts in group 2 animals suggested that auto-hemotherapy is helpful by augmenting the effects of autogenous vaccine. Auto-hemotherapy for treatment of chronic diseases in human beings is an age old practice, but has gained limited public acceptability (Wallis, 1947; Olwin et al., 1997). However, there seems paucity of reports available on use of auto-hemotherapy in veterinary practice. Auto-hemotherapy was reported to cause complete cure of papillomatosis in a cattle (Kumar, 2011). Auto-hemotherapy is believed to stimulate the reticulo-endothelial system and to increase population of macrophages in circulating blood, which might be responsible for enhancing regression rate of the papillomas. Concurrent administration of parammunity inducers support rapid regression of warts and enhancing efficacy of autogenous vaccines (Inayat et al., 1999; Turk et al., 2005). However, further large-scale study is required to elucidate the mechanism of action of auto-hemotherapy.

From the present study, it can be concluded that autogenous vaccine is effective in treatment of bovine papillomatosis. Auto-hemotherapy may serve as a useful adjunct to autogenous vaccine. These two therapeutic modalities are low cost and easy to follow, hence can be applied at field level.


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Rakesh Ranjan (1), S.P.S. Ghumman (2), G.R. Bhatt (2) and R.S. Singh

Department of Teaching Veterinary Clinical Complex

College of Veterinary Sciences

Guru Angad Dev Veterinary and Animal Sciences University

Ludhiana--141004 (Punjab)

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

(2.) Department of Veterinary Gynaecology and Obstetrics
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Title Annotation:Clinical Article
Author:Ranjan, Rakesh; Ghumman, S.P.S.; Bhatt, G.R.; Singh, R.S.
Publication:Intas Polivet
Article Type:Report
Geographic Code:9INDI
Date:Jul 1, 2013
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