Researchers have developed a new vaccine that looks promising for protection against foot-and-mouth disease which strikes cattle and swine, as well as sheep, goats and deer.
The new vaccine works quickly, demonstrating effectiveness within seven days. Tests so far have shown that vaccinated cattle retain immunity for at least 21 days, but scientists expect that future studies will show that the new vaccine at least matches the six months of immunity provided by current vaccines. The new vaccine has been tested on cattle and swine, and is equally effective in both species.
"This signals tremendous promise," said ARS Administrator Edward B. Knipling. "Although this is still an experimental vaccine, it has made significant developmental progress, and we are optimistic about its prospects."
The new vaccine has many benefits. It is administered in a nonreplicating adenovirus. It does not require expensive, high-containment production facilities, and it can be produced safely in the
In addition, the vaccine also makes it possible for scientists to determine whether an animal found to have FMD antibodies acquired them through vaccination or from infection — an important piece of information because of the trade restrictions associated with using current vaccines.
Although rarely transmissible to humans, FMD is devastating to livestock and has critical economic consequences with potentially severe losses in the production and marketing of meat and milk. Although the
Significantly, as this is the first FMD vaccine produced in the
The results of this research effort will be presented on June 2, at the 2007 American Society for Gene Therapy meeting in
ARS News Service