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Open Access Publications from the University of California

GonaCon,™ a versatile GnRH contraceptive for a large variety of pest animal problems

  • Author(s): Miller, Lowell A.
  • Rhyan, Jack
  • Killian, Gary
  • et al.

As part of the program to develop contraceptive tools to control populations of over-abundant wildlife species, the NWRC has developed a single-injection gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) immunocontraceptive vaccine, GonaCon™. GonaCon™ has been tested and shown to provide contraceptive effects lasting 1-3 years in many pest species including white-tailed deer, domestic and feral pigs, bison, wild horses, cats, dogs, and California ground squirrels. GonaCon™ contains a GnRH peptide conjugated to keyhole limpet hemocyanin combined with AdjuVac™, an adjuvant also developed at the USDA National Wildlife Research Center. Immunization against GnRH prevents the circulating GnRH from stimulating the release of pituitary luteinizing hormone and follicle-stimulating hormone. This process of immuno‑neutralization of GnRH effects a temporary non‑surgical castration in both males and females. Contraceptive and behavioral effects of GonaCon™ are discussed for a variety of species.

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