Vaccine against foot and mouth disease in progress

by Editor
Wednesday, June 06, 2007

A new vaccine shows promise for preventing foot and mouth disease in livestock, proving effective in tests on cattle and swine in the United States.

The vaccine was developed by Agricultural Research Service (ARS) scientists, the Department of Homeland Security, and a US biopharmaceutical company.

The vaccine shows effectiveness within seven days, and in tests so far, cattle retain immunity for at least 21 days.

Scientists expect that more studies will show at least the six months of immunity is provided by current vaccines in cattle and swine.

ARS Administrator Edward B. Knipling said that although this is still an experimental vaccine, it has made significant developmental progress, and we are optimistic about its prospects.

FMD is devastating to livestock, including cattle, swine, sheep, and goats. The disease is rarely transmissible to humans, but if the US had an outbreak the economic impact could be severe.

The new product is the first FMD vaccine produced in the US, and as it is developed, it could allow the Federal Government to plan a strategic stockpile in case of an outbreak.