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Friday, April 4, 2008

research : Vaccine could offer FMD control.(Science Update)

From: Agricultural Research | Date: 2/1/2008 | Author: Grubman, Marvin J.

Joint research between ARS, the Department of Homeland Security's Targeted Advanced Development Unit, and the Vector Science Group of GenVec, Inc., a biopharmaceutical company in Gaithersburg, Maryland, has led to development of a promising vaccine for protecting cattle, swine, sheep, and deer from foot-and-mouth disease (FMD). This vaccine--the first molecular-based FMD vaccine for cattle--was constructed and initially tested by ARS scientists. Though no FMD outbreaks have occurred in the United States since 1929, this highly contagious livestock disease could cause severe losses in domestic production and marketing of meat and milk.

The fast-acting vaccine--the first FMD vaccine produced in the United States--is administered in a nonreplicating adenovirus. It's been adapted to protect against two of the seven serotypes, or closely related forms, of the virus. Since the vaccine is made without infectious FMD, it can be safely made in conventional facilities. Tests have shown cattle to be protected within 7 days of vaccination and to maintain protection for at least 21 days. Further tests are expected to show that protection lasts at least as long as that achieved with current vaccines, which is 6 months. Still to be determined are the vaccine's effectiveness against other serotypes of FMD virus, as well as its commercial viability. Marvin J. Grubman, USDA-ARS Foreign Animal Disease Research Unit, Orient Point, New York; phone (631) 323-3329, e-mail

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