In other research, a team led by microbiologist Elizabeth Rieder cloned the FMD virus genetic material in a plasmid, allowing them to alter the virus. They discovered a sequence that, if removed, renders the FMD virus harmless to animals while leaving it capable of growing in cell culture, and have used the technology to produce a new FMD vaccine. Production of this vaccine is safer than conventional methods, since the attenuated FMD virus doesn’t cause disease in animals. Also, scientists have labeled the virus used in the vaccine with unique markers to differentiate it from wild-type virus, which would allow differentiation between vaccinated cattle and those exposed to the disease in an outbreak. The group has filed for a patent on the technology, which is being developed for vaccine production by a private company.
Read the full article from ARS.