News 1096 views last update:May 16, 2007

FMD vaccines do not always protect pigs

Vaccinating pigs does not prevent the spread of Foot-and-Mouth Disease (FMD) when the pressure of infection is very high.

Experiments at Wageningen University & Research Centre, the Netherlands, carried out by Karin Orsel, PhD to be, at the Faculty of Animal Health, show that the culling of pigs at production sites is more efficient to prevent an outbreak from spreading than vaccinating.

One-off vaccinations
The trials show that one-off vaccinations does not stop the spreading of a virus between pigs, unlike in other animals. In cattle, the spreading of the virus is slowed down by one-off vaccinations, in calves and lambs, results were already somewhat less optimistic.

According to Aldo Dekker, from the Dutch Central Insititute for Animal Disease Control in Lelystad, the Netherlands (CIDC-Lelystad), the result in pigs is related to a high pressure of infection.

Lower dosage
"When there is a lower dosage of virus, the vaccine can protect pigs as well. However, to restrict an FMD outbreak, implementing transport bans and culling production sites at risk are more effective than vaccinating," Dekker said.

"It takes some time after vaccination before the animals have created sufficient amounts of antibodies."

Related websites:
• Dutch Central Insititute for Animal Disease Control
• Wageningen University & Research Centre (WUR)

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