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Single shot animal contraceptive coming soon

By Tim Sandle     Oct 9, 2015 in Lifestyle
The idea of an injectable contraceptive for pets, administered by injection, is coming closer to reality after some successful animal trials.
Researchers working at the company Caltech are working on an injectable contraceptive for pets. This would be an alternative to spaying and neutering pets or feral animals. These current methods are costly and time consuming.
The basis of the contraceptive is a virus, called an adeno-associated virus (AAV). This is a small, harmless virus. The virus has been used in gene-therapy trials, designed to pass on sequences of DNA to muscle cells. This causes cells to produce specific antibodies to fight infectious diseases. Trials have shown success against diseases like HIV, malaria and hepatitis C.
Based on the disease fighting mechanisms, PharmPro reports that researchers have used the same principles to produce infertility. In laboratory studies, the researchers managed to use AAV to deliver a gene into the body. The gene instructs muscle cells to produce an antibody that counter-acts a particular gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH).
GnRH has been called the "master regulator of reproduction." The hormone triggers the release of two other hormones from the pituitary gland. These hormones promote the formation of eggs, sperm, and sex steroids. When this happens an animal becomes infertile. The effect is, in most cases, permanent.
The method is called "vectored contraception." Further studies aim to look for other proteins that can be potentially eliminated using the viral method. At this stage, there is no suggestion that this type of process is suitable for people.
So far, tests have been successfully conducted on laboratory mice (both male and female.) the findings are published in the journal Current Biology. The paper is headed “Vectored antibody gene delivery mediates long-term contraception.”
More about Contraception, spraying, Animals, Neuter
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