AbstractIn Italy, veterinary autogenous vaccines manufacturing is regulated by the legislative decree of the Ministry of Health, March 17th, 1994, n. 287. The production is performed by the network of the ‘Istituti Zooprofilattici Sperimentali’ (IZSs), public health institutes scattered all over the Italian territory. The aim of this research was to evaluate the feasibility of an in vitro method to test the abnormal toxicity of autogenous bacterial vaccines as an alternative to animal models routinely employed. For this purpose, the Istituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale dell’Abruzzo e del Molise (IZSAM) in partnership with the Istituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale della Lombardia e dell’Emilia Romagna (IZSLER), evaluated the toxicity of 49 batches of autogenous bacterial vaccines, previously shown to be safe in guinea pigs and mice, on animal model, by means of the methyl tetrazolium (MTT) assay. All vaccines showed cytotoxic effects when tested 1:2 diluted and undiluted; overall, all vaccines lost toxicity at 1:128 dilution. As expected, these findings suggest a different susceptibility of this assay compared to the laboratory animal model. On the other hand, these results do not clarify which components of the vaccines are responsible for the cytotoxic effect. Overall, more experiments are warranted in order to standardize the MTT assay which could be coupled with the trials in laboratory animals.
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