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UK & India Develop Vaccine for Fatal Cattle Disease

18 January 2012

UK and INDIA - Moredun researchers have secured a grant of over £1 million from the Wellcome Trust to develop a new vaccine to help control a deadly cattle disease caused by P. multocida in India.

Haemorrhagic septicaemia (HS) is an endemic disease that affects cattle, buffalo and camels across South and South-East Asia, Africa and South America.

Transmission of P. multocida is airborne and infection leads quickly to systemic disease causing death of the animal within 24 hours. In India, it is estimated that HS is responsible for approximately half of all cattle and buffalo deaths.

The disease is a significant economic problem for resource poor farmers who rely on these animals for meat, milk, draught power, manure and heat.

A consortium led by Moredun Research Institute and including scientists from the University of Glasgow and the Indian Veterinary Research Institute (IVRI) plans to develop and test a new vaccine for this disease over the next three years.

Moredun has recruited the help of Inocul8, GALVmed and Indian Immunologicals Ltd (IIL), three organisations with the commercial experience required to get a new vaccine licensed and manufactured in India.

The lead scientist in this consortium, Dr Chris Hodgson from Moredun, is optimistic that this project will be a success.

He commented: “The first step involves us attenuating or weakening the causative bacterium so that it is unable to cause disease. The weakened bacterium will be incorporated into a prototype vaccine which will be tested in the UK and trialed in buffalo and cattle across India to determine its effectiveness at controlling this disease.”

He added: “Current vaccines for Haemorrhagic septicaemia give protection for between six and nine months. This improved vaccine is anticipated to be more cross-protective, easier to administer and to give much longer duration of immunity, factors that will have a huge impact on the effective control and prevention of this disease.”

Dr Richard Mole from Inocul8, a subsidiary of Moredun focused on the translation of its science added: “This project represents how applicable Moredun’s science is to real world problems and represents another example of how work at Moredun is being translated into products that will have a significant impact for the farming community, in this case in South Asia and beyond.”

He continued: “We already have a manufacturing partner in India that is working alongside us to ensure the smooth and rapid transition of the vaccine into the market."

TheCattleSite News Desk



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