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Titre testing

How testing can prove useful

If there is a concern that a cat may not have responded correctly to vaccination then a titre test can provide useful reassurrance. A good example, would be in the unlikely event that an animal may have a serious allergic reaction to previous vaccination. A positive result for would then give reasurance that the animal is still likely to immune at that moment in time – it, however, only gives a snap shot of current immune status.

Is measuring antibodies through titre testing a viable alternative to annual booster vaccination?

Titre testing, particularly for dogs is sometimes cited as a possible alternative to routine booster vaccination. However, there are various important factors to consider:

  1. Many of the vaccines in use for dogs and cats are already licensed for use at intervals of 3 years or more, but there are still parts of the vaccine that need to be boosted annually to ensure optimum immunity irrespective of the results of such tests
  2. There are a range of diseases which pets are vaccinated against for which there is not a good correlation between antibody level and immunity.
  3. The result gives a snapshot picture of antibody levels at the time of the test and cannot predict what future declines in immunity may be
  4. Titre testing can add significant cost to vaccination when some vaccine components would still be advised each year
  5. There is no evidence that reducing the number of components given within a single dose of vaccine will have a significant impact on what is already a rare risk of adverse reactions

How testing can prove useful

If there is a concern that a dog may not have responded correctly to vaccination then a titre test can provide useful reassurrance. A good example, would be in the unlikely event that an animal may have a serious allergic reaction to previous vaccination. A positive result for all three diseases would then give reasurance that the animal is still likely to be immune at that moment in time – it, however, only gives a snap shot of current immune status

Is measuring antibodies through titre testing a viable alternative to annual booster vaccination?

Titre testing, particularly for dogs is sometimes cited as a possible alternative to routine booster vaccination. However, there are various important factors to consider:

  1. Many of the vaccines in use for dogs and cats are already licensed for use at intervals of 3 years or more, but there are still parts of the vaccine that need to be boosted annually to ensure optimum immunity irrespective of the results of such tests
  2. There are a range of diseases which pets are vaccinated against for which there is not a good correlation between antibody level and immunity, particularly leptospirosis in dogs.
  3. The result gives a snapshot picture of antibody levels at the time of the test and cannot predict what future declines in immunity may be
  4. Titre testing can add significant cost to vaccination when some vaccine components would still be advised each year
  5. There is no evidence that reducing the number of components given within a single dose of vaccine will have a significant impact on what is already a rare risk of adverse reactions