Researchers say they have a vaccine that prevents Valley fever in dogs

Published: Wednesday, October 27, 2021 - 3:58pm
Updated: Thursday, October 28, 2021 - 7:53am
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Researchers from the University of Arizona College of Medicine say they’ve found a vaccine that effectively prevents Valley fever in dogs. 

Valley fever is caused by a fungus found in the soil in Arizona and other parts of the Southwest. More than 9,000 Arizonans have contracted Valley fever this year. The fungal infection is even more common in dogs. Valley fever costs Arizona dog owners an estimated $60 million per year.

For decades, researchers have wanted to find a vaccine to prevent the disease. Now, they’re one step closer.

study out this week shows a trial vaccine prevented virtually all symptoms of Valley fever in dogs. Dr. John Galgiani, professor with the University of Arizona College of Medicine and director of the Banner Health Valley Fever Center, said that’s significant, not just for veterinary medicine.

“It looks like this vaccine works really really well," Galgiani said. “The idea is that if we could show that this vaccine did protect dogs, it adds that much more pretty powerful evidence that we should be able to do the same thing for humans.”

Galgiani expects the two-dose veterinary vaccine could be on the market by 2023. He’s hopeful the success from research in dogs will pave the way for funding human vaccine trials.

→ Q&AZ: Can COVID-19 masks help prevent Valley fever?

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