Economics of Developing PED Vaccine Questionable

CANADA - The associate director research with VIDO says the economic viability of developing a vaccine to combat an outbreak of Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea in the US is questionable, Bruce Cochrane writes.
calendar icon 24 September 2013
clock icon 3 minute read

Since mid-May the US pork industry has been contending with an outbreak of Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea.

Dr Volker Gerdts, the associate director research with the Vaccine and Infectious Disease Organization, suggests given the fact that pork producers have continued to lose money over the past few years the questions is do we need to develop a new vaccine which cost even more money per head or is this something that could be managed by biosecurity.

Dr Volker Gerdts-Vaccine and Infectious Disease Organization

We have in the past developed vaccines for porcine corona viruses so the same family of viruses so therefore we think that we would have the knowledge and the expertise to develop a vaccine for PED.

The important question though will people use such a vaccine if that vaccine was available.

That is something we're doing at the moment to really investigate and trying to determine what is the market size, will people use this vaccine.

There is no point in us investing money into developing a vaccine if that vaccine never will be used and the European experience so far is telling us that the market will be very very small, that people most likely would not continue to use this vaccine.

We are however in discussions with the pharmaceutical industry and those are ongoing at the moment and we'll see what comes out of these discussions.

Dr Gerdts says in Europe this disease is considered manageable and there are no vaccines available but the more virulent strains have resulted in vaccines that are being used in Korea and China.

He says in North America producers been relying on management so first and foremost biosecurity including complete disinfection of trucks, strict control of access to farms and, in the case of infected herds, stamping out infected animals.

Further Reading

Find out more information on PED by clicking here.

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