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LetiFend helps reduce the risk of developing active infection and/or clinical disease after exposure to L. infantum from 28 days post vaccination1,2. It offers protection for 365 days after a single annual dose which helps improve compliance. It has excellent tolerability shown in a wide range of breeds and ages, and in field trials in areas at high risk of infection had an efficacy rate of 72%4.

Caroline Darouj, Product Manager at MSD Animal Health said “Whilst accurate statistics on the number of cases seen in UK practices are not available, the VMD has reported an annual increase in the number of leishmaniasis treatments imported since records started in 2006. Based on applications for Special Import Certificates for Milteforan and Glucantime, there were 27 times as many cases treated in 2018 (439) compared to 2006 (16)*. Leishmaniasis is proving to be a significant threat to travelling dogs, a situation that has been widely reported in the vet press, so LetiFend will offer veterinary practices and dog owners throughout the UK reassurance. A single dose primary course given four weeks before travel makes it ideal for non-regular travelers.”

LetiFend is a DIVA (Differentiating Infected from Vaccinated Animals) vaccine obtained through recombinant DNA technology with Protein Q as the active substance, a protein obtained by a combination of five highly antigenic fragments, cloned and expressed in a non-pathogenic E. Coli. The fragments are obtained from the four proteins most commonly recognised in the sera of infected dogs,5,6,7,8. It is a non-adjuvanted vaccine which ensures a targeted immune response with a high level of safety. A dog vaccinated with LetiFend is at 9.8 times less risk of presenting clinical signs, at 3.5 times less risk of presenting parasites, and thus at 5 times less risk of developing clinical leishmaniasis1. It can be applied from six months of age via subcutaneous administration.

*Information from VMD following a Freedom of Information Act request.
1 Summary of Product Characteristics of Letifend. European Medicines Agency, 2016.
2 Committee for medicinal products for veterinary use (CMVP). European public assessment report (EPAR) for LetiFend. European Medicines Agency, 2016.
3 Solano-Gallego et al. Diagnostic Challenges in the Era of Canine Leishmania infantum Vaccines. Trends in Parasitology (2017). Volume 33, Issue 9, Pages 706-717.
4 Fernandez Catrina J, Iniesta v, Monroy I, Baz v, Hugnet C, Maranan F. Fabra M, Gomez-Nieto LC, Alonso C.A. large-scale field randomized trial demonstration safety and efficacy of the vaccine LetiFend against canine leishmaniosis. Vaccine 2018; 36: 1972-1982.
5 Soto M, Requena JM, Quijada L, Alonso C. Multicomponent chimeric antigen for serodiagnosis of canine visceral leishmaniasis. J Clin Microbial. 1998 Jan;36(1 ):58- 63.
6 Soto M., Requena J.M., Quijada L., Angel S. 0., Gomez L. C., Guzman F., Pa/arroyo ME and Alonso C. During active viscerocutaneous leishmaniasis the anti-P2 humoral response is specifically triggered by the parasite P proteins. Clin Exp lmmunol. 1995. 100:246-252.
7 Soto M, Requena JM, Quijada L, Guzman F, Pa/arroyo ME, Alonso C. Identification of the Leishmania infantum PO ribosomal protein epitope in canine visceral leishmaniasis. lmmunol Lett. 1995 Nov;48(1):23-8
8 Nieto CG, Garcia-Alonso M, Requena JM, Miron C, Soto M, Alonso C, Navarrete I.Analysis of the humoral immune response against total and recombinant antigens of Leishmania infantum: correlation with disease progression in canine experimental leishmaniasis. Vetlmmunol lmmunopathol. 1999 Feb 1 ;67(2):117-30.