A new way to vaccinate cattle

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A new approach to vaccinating cattle could help farmers worldwide, research suggests.

Scientists have developed a technique using a harmless parasite, which lives in cows but has no effect on their health, to carry medicines into the animals' bloodstream.

Researchers created the vaccine by inserting key genetic material from a vaccine into the parasite's DNA.

The manipulated parasite is intended to be injected into cattle, where it would continue to thrive in their bloodstreams, releasing small amounts of vaccine slowly over time.

The treatment could offer long-term protection against common conditions such as foot-and-mouth disease or bovine tuberculosis, as well as a range of other diseases.

Scientists say the method could also be adapted to carry medicines as well as vaccines, to deliver drug treatments against common cattle diseases.

It is hoped the approach will help to control or eradicate major cattle diseases.

"This method has real potential to control a wide range of cattle diseases throughout the world. It is also a fantastic example of how building on many years of basic scientific research can lead to unanticipated economic potential," says Professor Keith Matthews, of the University of Edinburgh's School of Biological Sciences, who led the research.

The research was carried out in collaboration with the Moredun Research Institute with funding from the Wellcome Trust and the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council, and published in the journal PLoS Pathogens.

Source: ScienceDaily.com

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Iowa  |  November, 02, 2011 at 10:24 AM

You say "harmless parasite which lives in cows" but fail to address issues about the human that eats the cow containing the parasite...hum. More needs to be explored here before allowed on the market as a vaccine/medical health enhancer !

Oklahoma  |  November, 03, 2011 at 06:32 PM

Sounds like a complex process of developing immunity in the target culprit community, ultimately leading to a second state that's much worse than the first. Oh sorry, I forgot to say gee whizz - - -

Doug McCloy    
New Mexico  |  November, 03, 2011 at 06:44 PM

This parsite will have to be immune to Ivomec.

Joe Clark,DVM    
Cokorado  |  November, 04, 2011 at 12:27 AM

",harmless parasite " is an oxymoron. A parasite is an organism that lives entirely at the expence of the host.

Lynne Dzuba DVM    
USA  |  November, 06, 2011 at 12:12 PM

Parasite can be commensals whereby they do not harm their host and benefit by being within their host ... an example is the peritoneal parisite Setaria sp.

pa  |  November, 22, 2011 at 02:49 PM

"Parasite" may mean virus or other agent that is manipulated to produce beneficial results while removing the ability to cause known disease. Biotechnology is still in "toddler" years. Carol, Much more will need to be explored before anything can be put into practice in the market place. It sounds like this is in early development and research stages. Bitoech products like Posilac were researched for lose to 20 yrs with millions $ investment and safety studies before approved for practical application. Lets stick to good research and science, not science fiction. There could be tremendous beneficial applications developing from this technology which eventually could be used to cure human health conditions as well.

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