U.S. Department of Agriculture: Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service


Date of this Version

February 2004


Published by Proc. 21th Vertebr. Pest Conf. (R. M. Timm and W. P. Gorenzel, Eds.) Published at Univ. of Calif., Davis. 2004. Pp 269-273.


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, GonaConTM. GonaConTM 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 AduVacTM ,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 immune-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.