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Biologicals. 2005 Dec;33(4):227-34. Epub 2005 Nov 14.

Development of novel strategies to control foot-and-mouth disease: marker vaccines and antivirals.

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  • 1United States Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, North Atlantic Area, Plum Island Animal Disease Center, P.O. Box 848, Greenport, NY 11944, USA.


Foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) is economically the most important viral-induced livestock disease worldwide. The disease is highly contagious and FMD virus (FMDV) replicates and spreads extremely rapidly. Outbreaks in previously FMD-free countries, including Taiwan, the United Kingdom, and Uruguay, and the potential use of FMDV by terrorist groups have demonstrated the vulnerability of countries and the need to develop control strategies that can rapidly inhibit or limit disease spread. The current vaccine, an inactivated whole virus preparation, has a number of limitations for use in outbreaks in disease-free countries. We have developed an alternative approach using a genetically engineered FMD subunit vaccine that only contains the portions of the viral genome required for virus capsid assembly and lacks the coding region for most of the viral nonstructural (NS) proteins including the highly immunogenic 3D protein. Thus, animals inoculated with this marker vaccine can readily be differentiated from infected animals using diagnostic assays employing the NS proteins not present in the vaccine and production of this vaccine, which does not contain infectious FMDV, does not require expensive high-containment manufacturing facilities. One inoculation of this subunit vaccine delivered in a replication-defective human adenovirus vector can induce rapid, within 7 days, and relatively long-lasting protection in swine. Similarly cattle inoculated with one dose of this recombinant vector are rapidly protected from direct and contact exposure to virulent virus. Furthermore, cattle given two doses of this vaccine developed high levels of FMDV-specific neutralizing antibodies, but did not develop antibodies against viral NS proteins demonstrating the ability of FMD subunit vaccinated animals to be differentiated from infected animals. To stimulate early protection prior to the vaccine-induced adaptive immune response we inoculated swine with the antiviral agent, type I interferon, and induced complete protection within 1 day. Protection can last for 3-5 days. The combination of the FMD marker vaccine and type I interferon can induce immediate, within 1 day, and long-lasting protection against FMD. Thus, this combination approach successfully addresses a number of concerns of FMD-free countries with the current disease control plan. By rapidly limiting virus replication and spread this strategy may reduce the number of animals that need to be slaughtered during an outbreak.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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