Re-Investigating Method of Pink Eye Vaccination

Project Title

Safety and Immunogenicity of an Ocular Vaccine Delivery Vehicle


Dr. Philip Griebel University of Saskatchewan and VIDO-Intervac

Dr. Suresh Tikoo, University of Saskatchewan and VIDO-Intervac

Status Project Code
Completed July, 2022 POC.02.20


In most cases pink-eye occurs sporadically in herds, but outbreaks with a high case incidence do happen. These outbreaks have large animal health, labor, and cost implications. Currently available pink-eye vaccines aren’t effective for disease prevention. This team has previously examined the commercial pink eye vaccine available in Canada and found that this subcutaneously injected vaccine fails to induce an immune response in the eye against the targeted pathogens.


  •  Determine if a novel vaccine delivery vehicle can be used to safely deliver vaccine antigens to the eye of young calves and induce increased antibody secretion in tears.

What they Did

This group wants to go back to the drawing board and see if changing the vaccine delivery method can improve the capacity of a vaccine to induce protective antibody responses in the eye. In this study they will address two specific questions. First, is the novel vaccine delivery vehicle safe to use or does it cause inflammation in the eye. Second, does delivery of the vaccine directly to the eye induce a local vaccine- specific immune response. Two different doses of the vaccine delivery vehicle will be delivered to the eyes of four, one-month old calves. Eyes will be monitored for inflammation or other signs of injury and tears will be collected to measure specific antibody responses. A second dose of the vaccine will then be delivered 4 weeks later and immune responses monitored for another two weeks.

What you Learned

This project determined if delivering vaccines directly to the eye is a safe and effective alternative to current pink-eye vaccines that are injected subcutaneously. This will not result in a new vaccine on the market but if it works will get us one step closer to developing and testing a vaccine that is effective against pink eye.