Note: This article from the journal Veterinary Research provides a rare glimpse (pardon the meat pun) into what vaccine discussions can look like when the target recipients aren't children. Would love to hear David Kirby's take on this, since his book Animal Factory took on the topic of factor farms. Thanks to our John Stone for sharing this article and culling these key quotes:
“Modified live vaccines against this viral disease have various drawbacks, including severe side-effects and the potential for undetected, subclinical infections in vaccinated animals that may result in viral shedding and can also lead to recombination between field and vaccine strains."
“the pathogen may be evolving quickly and the vaccine may not be updated to confer protection against current strains [e.g., infectious bronchitis virus, porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus (PRRSV)”
“Eliciting protective immune responses in young animals tends to be particularly challenging because the immune system is still developing, and because maternal antibodies can interfere with the development of protective immunity. Vaccination against diseases that require protective immunity in young animals can therefore be particularly challenging “
© The Author(s) 2018
- Received: 20 October 2017
- Accepted: 22 December 2017
- Published: 31 July
ABSTRACT: Vaccines and other alternative products can help minimize the need for antibiotics by preventing and controlling infectious diseases in animal populations, and are central to the future success of animal agriculture. To assess scientific advancements related to alternatives to antibiotics and provide actionable strategies to support their development, the United States Department of Agriculture, with support from the World Organisation for Animal Health, organized the second International Symposium on Alternatives to Antibiotics.
It focused on six key areas: vaccines; microbial-derived products; non-nutritive phytochemicals; immune-related products; chemicals, enzymes, and innovative drugs; and regulatory pathways to enable the development and licensure of alternatives to antibiotics.
This article, part of a two-part series, synthesizes and expands on the expert panel discussions regarding opportunities, challenges and needs for the development of vaccines that may reduce the need for use of antibiotics in animals; new approaches and potential solutions will be discussed in part 2 of this series. Vaccines are widely used to prevent infections in food animals.
Various studies have demonstrated that their animal agricultural use can lead to significant reductions in antibiotic consumption, making them promising alternatives to antibiotics. To be widely used in food producing animals, vaccines have to be safe, effective, easy to use, and cost-effective. Many current vaccines fall short in one or more of these respects. Scientific advancements may allow many of these limitations to be overcome, but progress is funding-dependent. Research will have to be prioritized to ensure scarce public resources are dedicated to areas of potentially greatest impact first, and private investments into vaccine development constantly compete with other investment opportunities. Although vaccines have the potential to improve animal health, safeguard agricultural productivity, and reduce antibiotic consumption and resulting resistance risks, targeted research and development investments and concerted efforts by all affected are needed to realize that potential.
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