USA: Vaccine Offers New Control Options for FMD, May 31, 2007, ARS/USDA
- Huge development in the world of farming and ranching
If they had had this vaccine in the UK during its 2001 FMD outbreak,
that country would not have had to exterminate 6 million healthy
cattle, sheep, and pigs. The UK did not opt for vaccination back
then, the more humane alternative, because it would have meant
letting go of its foot-and-mouth-disease-free status, which would cut
deeply into its export trade. At that time, an animal having the
disease or just vaccinated against the disease tested the same. -
Pamela Rice, author, "101 Reasons Why I'm a Vegetarian"
<http://www.vivavegie.org/vv101/101reas2007.htm>EXCERPT FROM "101
REASONS WHY I'M A VEGETARIAN" :
57 Foot-and-mouth disease is rarely fatal for livestock, but it
remains a death sentence just the same. When blisters form on hooves
and lips, and growth slows because of fever, economics prescribe
execution and incineration. In 2001, Great Britain responded to an
outbreak by destroying nearly 6 million mostly healthy cattle, sheep,
and pigs at a cost of [U.S.]$9 billion to save its export trade.
There were actually only 2,030 known cases of the disease. The rest
were exterminated to provide buffers to contain the outbreak.
[EXCERPT FROM FOLLOWING ARTICLE: 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.]
Vaccine Offers New Control Options for FMD, May 31, 2007, ARS/USDA
Vaccine Offers New Control Options for FMD
By Laura McGinnis
May 31, 2007
WASHINGTON, May 31-A new vaccine developed by scientists with the
U.S. Department of Agriculture's Agricultural Research Service (ARS),
the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and a U.S.
biopharmaceutical company holds promise 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 thus 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
"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
Although rarely transmissible to humans, foot-and-mouth disease (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 United States has not had an FMD outbreak
since 1929, the disease is still considered a serious threat to the
nation's economy and food supply.
Significantly, as this is the first FMD vaccine produced in the
United States, the federal government can plan adequate supplies for
the veterinary strategic stockpile. The vaccine is the first
molecular-based FMD vaccine for cattle, developed by scientists with
ARS, the Department of Homeland Security's Targeted Advanced
Development unit (TAD) and GenVec, Inc., a biopharmaceutical company
based in Gaithersburg, Md. Additional testing is examining the
vaccine's commercial viability and effectiveness against the various
serotypes of FMD virus.
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 United States because it can be made without using infectious
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
The results of this research effort will be presented on June 2, at
the 2007 American Society for Gene Therapy meeting in Seattle, Wash.,
by Douglas E. Brough, senior director of GenVec's Vector Sciences.
The DHS TAD unit collaborates with ARS and industry to develop
vaccines and biotherapeutic medication for the U.S. Department of
Agriculture. ARS is USDA's principal intramural scientific research
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