New FMD vaccine holds real promise

US - The US department of Agriculture scientists, in conjunction with the department for Homeland security and US pharmaceutical company, have developed a vaccine that has the potential to be very effective against animal onset foot and mouth disease.
calendar icon 4 June 2007
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The disease affects cows, pigs, goats, sheep, deer and other animals.

The vaccine is quickly effective, and will be effective in seven days after injection, and initial tests have shown that cattle kept the immunity for at least 21 days after onset of immunity.

Scientists expect that the vaccine will at least equal the six months of immunity offered by other vaccines and may even extend beyond current terms. The vaccine has been tested on both cattle and pigs, and has proven equally effective at protecting both.

The US has not experienced a foot and mouth outbreak since 1929, but the disease exisits throughout the worlds and is considered to be a major threat to the food supply with economic implications for US agribusiness and the coutry as a whole.

The new vaccine is still in the experimental stages, but researchers are excited about initial test results and development work. They says that the vaccine holds real promise.

The new vaccine does not need be developed in high containment facilities, as it is made without the use of infectious materials. It also allows scientist to determine whether an animal that has demonstrated FMD antibodies has acquired them through natural means, or through vaccination - which is a significant benefit.

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