Developing vaccines against foot-and-mouth disease and some other exotic viral diseases of livestock. (Review)

Vaccines remain the main tool for the control of livestock viral diseases that pose a serious threat to animal and occasionally human health, reduce food security, distort trade in animals and their products, and undermine agricultural development in poor countries. Globalization and climate change increase the likelihood for new patterns of emergence and spread of livestock viruses. Conventionally attenuated and killed virus products have had spectacular success, and recent examples include the global eradication of rinderpest and the control of bluetongue in the UK and northern Europe. However, in many cases, livestock vaccines could benefit from improvement in some properties (e.g. stability, speed of onset and duration of immunity, and breadth of cross-protection to different serotypes or strains) and in some cases are not available at all. Compared with human vaccines, uptake of livestock products is highly cost-sensitive and their use may also need to be compatible with post-vaccination screening methods to determine whether or not animals continue to be infected. Requirements and prospects for new or improved vaccines are described for some priority viral diseases with potential for transboundary spread, particularly for foot-and-mouth disease.

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