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VACCINATION


"The present vaccines are excellent. I am speaking on my own behalf, I do not work for a drug company. They start to give protection in about four to five days and they are getting better. There is a strong argument for [vaccination] now and in the future."

Prof Fred Brown FRS OBE in 2001 - seven long years ago
See also safety of Vaccinated food products.
AUTUMN 2007 some misinformation cleared up

* a vaccine will only give effective protection if it has been tailor-made for a particular strain as immunity is virus type-specific.

This statement assumes that vaccines are either "fully effective" or "not at all effective". In practice, the 1967 O type vaccine, produced at Merial in July, has been used and is still being used in Turkey to vaccinate against the newest strain of type 'O' The vaccine may not be a perfect match but it offers a degree of protection.
The EU now has an FMD vaccine bank with vaccines offering at least some protection against all known FMD strain types and is regularly updated, thanks to intelligence coming in from countries around the world.
In this FMD outbreak, the vaccine of the appropriate strain ( ironically) is available just down the road.


* a vaccine will only give effective protection if it has been tailor-made for a particular strain as immunity is virus type-specific.

* Current vaccines only provide 6 months protection at best

For cattle, two shots are needed when the animal has no immunity at all, as in the UK. In the past, when vaccination was allowed in Europe, cattle older than 6 months were vaccinated only once a year. This did the job.
All the same, this point is irrelevant to a successful use of emergency ring vaccination used to stop the cycle of infection in the UK.
We only need to vaccinate in response to an FMD outbreak. Therefore vaccine is needed only to the one infecting strain of virus, the one serotype. Vaccine works well, the high potency killed vaccine inducing a good immunity within 10 days of vaccination, thus preventing onward spread of the virus because there are no new susceptible animals to infect. It is unlikely the whole country would need to be covered by vaccination, but a zone round each infected premise (or in the Pirbright outbreak, round Pirbright and the 2 infected farms would be all that is required). The more infection spreads and proceeds - perhaps unremarked in the case of sheep flocks for instance - the greater the likelihood of further spread into domesitc and wild animals.


* Current vaccines only provide 6 months protection at best

If they run into infection with the very first days after vaccination it is possible for cattle, sheep and goats to become sub-clinically infected. (Pigs have never been found to become carriers once vaccinated) In such cases, where infection was caught in the first hours following vaccination and before it could take effect, cattle may remain sub-clinically infected "carriers" for some years. Sheep and goats for 3-9 months. The vital point is that after DECADES OF EXTENSIVE SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH, CARRIERS HAVE NEVER BEEN FOUND TO BE ABLE TO SPREAD FMD.

With any sort of vaccination, if any host is successfully vaccinated , they may boost their antibody and white cell immunity by exposure to wild type virus but they will not become "carriers" in the sense implied by the argument above. Nor will they excrete virus in to the environment. The whole basis of vaccination is to reduce virus within the environment and therefore host to host infection.


*A policy of prophylactic vaccination would also make it impossible under current EU and OIE regulations to maintain the export trade in meat and livestock.

This is the crux of the matter for big producers - the cutting off of its European and other markets. The current EU trade rules are based on the assumption above - that "Carriers are a Danger" - and this is a misconception that must be examined and put right. In any case, discriminatory tests have been developed, described by the OIE, and successfully used in practice by countries such as Uruguay to demonstrate freedom from infection.

That the legislation is still arranged to make vaccination the poor relation in disease control - and for such erroneous reasons - is surely an indication that the industry needs to lobby to change this, rather than fight vaccination itself.
Legislation must take account of the natural history and science behind infection and vaccine induced immunity . Vaccinated meat is perfectly safe. (The UK was always said 'to run its army on Brazilian and Argentinian meat'. Are we to assume that the army is fed substandard produce?)
At present in the UK, no one is arguing for the use of prophylactic vaccination, but pointing out that since emergency vaccination to live is now part of EU and UK policy the public need to be given some good reasons not to use it. No good scientific or veterinary reasons have been given.


* It is estimated* that the capitalised cost of prophylactic vaccination in the 34 years between the 1967 and 2001 outbreaks would have been £5 billion, at current prices.

It is difficult to comment on these figures. All British cattle ever might have been used for this calculation - but one would need to start with the cost of one vaccination shot and the cost of the person administering it. But the cost of not vaccinating in 2001- the cost of that outbreak still exceeds 12 BILLION EUROS. The risks of new outbreaks are increasing because of globalisation, open borders and the increased mobility of people, animals and the products.

While even the 2001 outbreak of FMD cost more than the 5 billion suggested above, the human costs and trauma involved are - as this website aims to show - beyond financial calculation


* under a policy of prophylactic vaccination, there would be periodic vaccine breakdowns, leading to eruptions of disease, with all of their associated costs. And after each breakdown, a new vaccine would need to be developed, and flocks and herds re-vaccinated.

Annual vaccination comes with an annual update of the vaccine - just like that for influenza - based on analysis of samples coming in from around the world.

Any Animal Health policy needs constant monitoring of diseases, not just on one's own country but also abroad. Bluetongue gives us a good example: It is possible that BTV-8 is endemic in Turkey but we just don't know. As for FMD however, we do have a good system of collecting data so we know, for example, that a new 'O' type has developed and is spreading in Southern Asia. (NB see also the new Bio Portal)

The arrangements that the observation addresses are not clear. Vaccine should be used as a ring outside an infected area to limit virus replication and should be used in conjunction with restriction on animal movements and, if necessary, limited culling. No one is advocating random vaccination with no other containment measures. The idea is to preserve stocks, limit infection and use all the recourses mentioned to contain disease.


* it would not be practically possible to vaccinate wildlife, a reservoir of infection would almost certainly develop in the deer population, making FMD outbreaks a constant threat.

As long as a certain minimum percentage of susceptible animals is vaccinated, the disease (if present) cannot spread. In the example of the Netherlands and many other European countries, they usually only vaccinated cattle. Sheep, pigs, goats and deer were not vaccinated (see also Uruguay in 2001) - and FMD was got rid of.
In all of South America, as a rule only cattle were vaccinated. This an important argument why "carriers" are not important. There were always sufficient susceptible sheep around in close contact with vaccinated cattle. It caused no problem.

It is possible that wild mammals are infected, the odd deer for instance. However deer are extensive and the infection probably keeps coming to a dead end; that is one infected animals does not infect another. In extensively grazing sheep the infection will peter out (as it was left to do in sheep in 1967).
This is in contrast to on-farm stock when a flock or herd is penned into a field or enclosed in a shed.


A correspondent adds:


At present in the UK, very few are arguing for the use of prophylactic vaccination - that is, wholescale vaccination throughout the country.
(See NFMG letter August 14 2007 )


And another expert adds:


Article written for Mary Critchley and Jane Barribal. Dr Ruth Watkins 11th August 2007

Arguments for why DEFRA should have vaccinated as soon as they had the information that the virus at the first farm in Normandy near Pirbright was the historic strain, O1 BFS 67.

This would have entailed a delay of 2 days while the vaccine is prepared for delivery from storage in highly concentrated form, and vaccination teams are readied.
  1. The working hypothesis must be that the virus causing this outbreak derives from Pirbright because it is a historic strain.

  2. They have the vaccine that is the perfect match for this virus originally derived from the 1967 epidemic of FMD in the UK it being the vaccine strain that 'escaped' from Pirbright.

  3. They had an area near Pirbright which would have been appropriate to identify as a vaccination zone.

  4. They could have had the "rose" of the prevailing wind for the dates that they have defined in July when the exposure of the first infected farm was deemed likely to have occurred in case of airborne spread.

  5. They should know that it would take some time to establish what had happened namely if it was a viral 'plume' of aerosolised virus, or other exposure such as a contact; the latter a point source of contamination rather than contamination spread over a wider area by a plume.

  6. They should also know that it may not be possible to demonstrate the route of escape from Pirbright. Investigation of possible sabotage or bioterrorist activity would also be very time consuming. Vaccination cannot wait upon these results.

  7. The biological characteristics of the O1 virus must be known to them, and they should have considered spread by the very many possible routes including water and wildlife such as deer- these could create a problem in control.

  8. They should be able to explain to us how the excellent killed FMD vaccine works and lay to rest the fears of the unions such as the myth of perpetuating infection by vaccination or the belief that it is necessary to cull uninfected animals just because they have been vaccinated. Also the manner in which vaccinated and infected animals are distinguished on serology testing. The science backing the policy should be clearly articulated.

  9. The legislation which they, DEFRA, are responsible for both at EU level and within the UK should not give vaccination a penalty over culling, and indeed does not anymore by the EU.

  10. The supermarkets should state publicly and categorically that vaccinated meat is safe to eat and therefore they will not label vaccinated meat as such nor make any price differential to the producer or consumer.
We may have been lucky with a point source of contamination at the first farm with waterborne spread to the second, so that the outbreak is very limited in spread. We must wait out the incubation period and also hope that infection in deer has either not occurred or that they are too dispersed to sustain infection and as hefted sheep were left in 1967 on their common pastures in extensive grazings to let any FMD infection 'burn-out'. Whilst hoping for the best, a point source, we should have taken precaution against the worst, a plume.

We are also very lucky that decades of scientific research has provided us with excellent vaccine to all the major serotypes of FMD virus. We are also fortunate that we have these scientific and vaccine establishments in the UK, and we should be ready to take advantage of the benefits they can give us.

The FMD vaccine is much better than this in that it protects against infection with wild virus of the vaccine serotype. Also if FMD infection does occur post vaccination against the same serotype such animals have never been implicated in the spread of FMD in the many decades of use of vaccination to control and eliminate FMD outbreaks worldwide. Animals infected with FMD and either never vaccinated or infected prior to vaccination have been implicated in spread through carriage and shedding of infectious virus, particularly cattle and buffalo.

With global warming we may expect the incursion of a number of exotic viruses into the domestic animals of Northern Europe, which if they are insect borne or infect a wildlife reservoir may not be eliminated. May we have diagnostics and vaccines ready to meet them. However fortunately we don't have to live with FMD and vaccination has historically been important in control and elimination of FMD infection from regions or countries. In places like Brazil or Saudi Arabia repeated incursion of FMD cannot be prevented it seems at present from poorer surrounding countries because infected animals are continually imported legally or illegally.

Why does FMD vaccine work so well?

FMD virus belongs to the family of viruses called Piconaviridae. They can be imagined as a box, the capsid, containing and protecting the delicate contents, a nucleic acid genome, an RNA molecule a mere 5000 nucleic acid bases long - as viruses they are simple and minute, much less complicated than bacteria. The function of the box or capsid is to introduce the virus into a cell whereupon it opens to release the genome so it can start to multiply. This gives rise to an infection.

After infection antibody is formed to all the virus proteins, those found in infected cells and those making up the virus itself, including the box , the capsid.

Vaccination is designed to evoke antibody to the outside surface of the box, the virus capsid.

Infection of an animal with FMD virus is distinguished from vaccination by the presence of antibodies to proteins other than those that comprise the virus, those that make up the box, the capsid. In infection antibody is made to all proteins the virus genome encodes. The virus encodes proteins that facilitate its multiplication, many new genome RNA molecules made by copying the infecting genome RNA. The RNA to RNA synthesis this process requires does not occur in any animal cell, so the infecting virus encodes the proteins necessary for this- they are not found in the FMD vaccine.

Viruses in the Picornaviridae family have well conserved neutralisation sites on the surface of their box , the capsid. The neutralisation sites are special antigenic sites that when bound by an antibody that fits perfectly or almost perfectly causes the box to remain closed and therefore the nucleic acid cannot be released even when the virus, or box, enters a cell. The nucleic acid is locked in and eventually the virus particle is harmlessly degraded by the cell. Cells cannot therefore be infected by neutralised virus.

Vaccination is designed to protect against infection by evoking antibodies against the neutralisation site.
These antibodies are present ready to meet a virus and if matched to the neutralisation site on the surface render the virus non-infectious as described above.

There are at least 7 different serotypes of FMD, that is virus types with different neutralisation sites. In order to evoke the protective neutralising antibody the vaccine used must be of the same serotype as the outbreak or epidemic virus. Hence the importance of typing an outbreak virus done most quickly now by sequencing the nucleic acid.

Each different serotype of FMD has been grown up by Merial and inactivated to form the appropriate vaccine to match each and all of the different possible serotypes of FMD. Live attenuated strains of FMD have not been developed for reasons I am not sure of, so the vaccine preparation involves the culture of very large quantities of the wild virus types, the pathogenic or disease causing virus, now historic such as the British Field Strain from the 1967 outbreak for example, before it is inactivated or 'killed' to make up the vaccine.

Though the current circulating strains of FMD, or other Picornaviridae such as polio which has 3 serotypes, do slowly evolve in that changes gradually accrue to the RNA genome the neutralisation site is as a rule highly conserved in this virus family. There must be constraints on its evolution such as any change to the neutralisation site renders the virus incompetent. This is why the laboratory strains of FMD are historic, their genome reflecting a circulating wild type virus of yester year. Historic strains of virus are used in preparation of FMD vaccines as they are in the preparation of polio vaccine.

This is in contrast to influenza virus for example where the vaccine must be updated at least annually to take account of the slow evolution of the neutralisation sites on the heamagglutinin or H molecule on the outside of the influenza virus (if a new H type comes along the vaccine must be reformulated entirely).

All virus families have different characteristics, and to some we may never be able to make protective neutralising antibody at all such as Hepatitis C virus. How lucky we are to have such a good vaccine against FMD - it is theoretically possible to eliminate FMD from the world by vaccination as has nearly been accomplished with poliovirus.


Monday, August 20 2007 ~ "I wouldn't eat vaccinated meat!"

 

 

 

 

 

"To vaccinate or not to vaccinate……….."

read in full Paul Sutmoller European Livestock Alliance, http://www.ela-europe.org/read/home These arguments have largely evaporated and, moreover, the general public is increasingly against the killing and destruction of large numbers of healthy animals for disease control purposes. FMD vaccination policies should therefore be seriously considered as an alternative or an adjunct to stamping-out methods for FMD control and eradication. ..." Read in full


Vet J. 2004 Jan;167(1):9-22.

Developments in diagnostic techniques for differentiating infection from vaccination in foot-and-mouth disease.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez

Clavijo A, Wright P, Kitching P.

National Centre for Foreign Animal Disease, Canadian Food Inspection Agency, Suite T2300, 1015 Arlington Street, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada R3E 3M4. aclavijo@inspection.gc.ca

Foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) is a highly contagious and economically significant disease of cattle, pigs, sheep, goats and wild ruminant species. The FMD virus genome encodes a unique polyprotein from which the different viral polypeptides are cleaved by viral proteases, including eight different non-structural proteins (NSPs). Both structural and non-structural antigens induce the production of antibodies in infected animals. In contrast, vaccinated animals which have not been exposed to replicating virus will develop antibodies only to the viral antigens in the inactivated material. Vaccination against FMD is a key element in the control of the disease in addition to slaughter and movement restrictions. However, countries that vaccinate in the event of an outbreak will have to re-establish their FMD free status to the satisfaction of their trading partners.Because currently available vaccines stimulate the production of antibodies indistinguishable from those produced by infected animals in response to live virus and because vaccinated animals can be infected and become carriers of FMD virus, efforts have been made to develop diagnostic test that can differentiate vaccinated animals from those that are convalescent and from those that have been vaccinated and become carriers following subsequent contact with live virus. Currently the detection of antibodies to non-structural protein's (NSPs) is the preferred diagnostic method to distinguish virus infected, carrier, animals from vaccinated animals. However this is currently only possible at the herd level because of the great variability in the initiation, specificity and duration of the immune response in individual animals to the NSPs shown in many studies. Considerable effort and attention is now being directed toward the development of new methods and techniques for the rapid and accurate detection of anti-NSP antibodies, harmonization and standardization of current diagnostic techniques, as well as the production of defined reagents.


Prophylactic vaccination, Ring vaccination - and other comments about the UK situation in 2001


How Vaccination was used for Foot and Mouth Disease in Uruguay in April 2001 and subsequently

Dr James Irvine, FRSE DSc FRCPEd FRCPath FInstBiol


Bullet Points by Ruth Watkins (clinical virologist).

The Foot and Mouth vaccine - well tested in the field


See also

Uruguay 2001

In Uruguay the outbreak lasted from the end of April until the end of August. The incident rates were comparable with those of the UK in 2001 and were about 50 per day one month after the outbreak. At this point vaccination of all the cattle was started. There was no slaughter on infected farms because the farmers resisted the idea. Instead, animals were quarantined and there was a stand still of animal movement. Almost 11 million cattle were vaccinated - the 12 million sheep grazing beside them were not. Vaccination was carried out by the farmers themselves. It continued until the beginning of June followed by a booster programme until the third week of July. The rate quickly dropped to a few incidences per day. Movement restrictions were discontinued on the 6th of June. On the 26th of August Uruguay had their last case.


EU Proposal for FMD vaccination 2003 and its criteria for use of emergency vaccination


The NFMG vaccination programme and the technical papers from Intervet on the vaccines and marker tests

address the problem areas that farmers' leaders apparently feel are associated with vaccination. The vaccination programme provides an excellent workable strategy which shows there is no scientific need to slaughter after vaccination.
It was drawn up in consultation with Keith Sumption, and incorporated the expertise and advice of many experts, including Dr Sutmoller, Dr Barteling, Dr Sheila Crispin and Dr Janet Binns, as well as Dr Paul van Aarle from Intervet. It would provide a very constructive base from which to respond to the RSE, and I am sure they will want feedback from regular readers of warmwell.com.
The NFMG and Vets for Vacc were acknowledged and thanked for supplying this strategy.


The latest news from Intervet March 2002..

"The test has been validated with standard and other well-described sera from the institutes in Pirbright and Brescia and from the Dutch central veterinary research institute, ID-Lelystad. In the examinations on these sera, both the specificity and the sensitivity of the test were demonstrated to be more than 99%. The evaluation dossier is now finalized and will be send out to EU Commission and OIE."

Notes on vaccination and transmission received March 8th 2002

These authoritative notes refute the strange claims of those who - like Prof Mark Woolhouse - still insist that If we replace slaughter with vaccination we will almost certainly lose control of this epidemic. Culling is simply far quicker and vaccines are not designed to interrupt transmission nor to stop an ongoing epidemic in its tracks." a statement quite extraordinary in the light of recent advances.

EU fmd contingency plan 1993

1999 EU emergency vaccination strategy (pdf)


This is an extract from a major economic analysis of the options for FMD control published in the 'Spring 2001 'issue of the new magazine 'EuroChoices' published by the Agricultural Economics Society and the European Association of Agricultural Economists

Economic analysis of FMD control options

By Allison Burrell and Marie-Josee Mangen

"This is background to the EU's refusal to allow routine preventive FMD vaccination. However, excluding emergency vaccination as part of an epidemic control strategy overlooks the fact that, once an outbreak has occurred, disease-free status is already lost......soon after the UK outbreak began, a number of key foreign trading partners banned all susceptible imports from the EU as a whole. Thus, once disease-free status is lost, a non-vaccination policy becomes temporarily irrelevant......Are the costs of maintaining disease-free status without a more flexible attitude to vaccination becoming too high to justify?"


Feb 18 ~ We note that Argentina got the go-ahead to export much earlier than otherwise expected as they followed sufficient biosecurity surveillance that included serological testing for vaccinated versus infected animals

(even though these tests are not yet standardised). They and the Authorities were presumably following the Forward Strategy document (rather than the over-zealous diktats of "12 months after the slaughter of the last vaccinated animal" ).


Feb 1 ~ Dr Ruth Watkins' authoritative submission to the Royal Society Inquiry in Edinburgh.


Jan 19 ~... the logical way to control the disease is by routine prophylactic immunization." From: Foot and mouth disease control: the next steps by A J Beale in January's Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine



Dr Paul Sutmoller's presentation at the government Royal Society Inquiry session on Vaccination. Jan 15th 2002. Extract:


FMD facts: some elementary questions and answers from a US site.


Distinguishing infection from vaccination


Prophylactic Vaccination - a paper with contributions by eminent scientists in the field. Jan 2002

Dr David Paton Head, Department for Exotic Disease Control Pirbright Laboratory writes about Pirbright's view of latest test methods


Argentina's Chief Vet and others in transcript of the BBC Countryfile programme Sept 9th


The FAQs page from UBI (United Bio Medical) which poses questions about what advantages there are in NOT vaccinating


FMD Discussion papers reproduced on the excellent www.wildlifeinformation.org
(free access is now closed unfortunately")
Published Discussion Documents and Official Risk Assessments for the 2001 UK Foot-and-Mouth Disease Outbreak N.B. No part of this publication may be reproduced without the prior permission of the copyright holders - For contact details see each individual document

The arguments against vaccination published in September on the Defra website - and comments.... See this extract from Alan Beat's letter of Sept 19th

Available vaccine

(information copied vebatim from the Merial website)
Vaccine at Pirbright

Standard "vaccination" letter from NFU and Michaela's response

The rationale for using emergency vaccination for foot and mouth disease From: Report of the Scientific Committee on Animal Health and Animal Welfare Adopted 10 March 1999



July 10 ~ Farmer Lawrence Wright makes an application to vaccinate his stock.

His reply received July 25.

The tail end of the epidemic and the exit to FMD-free status by Dr Ruth Watkins


Vaccination, Journalism and H.L.Mencken

July 19 The Times
reported that the Court of Justice of the European Communities rejected the claim of a Dutch pet owner and two animal wefare organisations. Ms Jippe, who owns 4 sheep and two goats, claimed that to ban her from vaccinating her animals against FMD was invalid and contrary to Community law.


"ensuring the welfare of animals did not form part of the objectives of the EC Treaty"

was the view of the court and it justified its rejection of Ms Jippe's plea largely by means of the same arguments we have been hearing in this country against vaccination:

These, as quoted by the Times, are shown below . Notes from this website including extracts from Dr Ruth Watkins' article that are relevant follow in red

Where outbreaks of foot-and-mouth disease were established, preventive vaccination did not enable the disease to be eradicated

Virtually 100% of animals respond to the oil-based vaccines, given IM, by making protective antibody that is specific to the serotype of FMD virus in the vaccine. All carriers in domestic animals eventually stop carrying virus- sheep and goats by about 9 months and cattle and Water Buffalo by 3 years. Pigs are not thought to become carriers.Thus vaccination leads to elimination of virus from the population or country.

particularly since vaccinated animals could continue to carry the virus and could contaminate healthy animals.
A vaccinee has not been shown to infect another animal whether vaccinated or not.Vaccinated carriers have never been shown to spread infection to another animal. It remains a hypothetical possibility only.

Moreover, given that in the current state of scientific knowledge it was impossible to distinguish between vaccinated and infected animals, the development of the disease could not be effectively monitored.
"Diagnostic potential of MAB-based elisas for antibodies to non-structural proteins of Foot-and-Mouth Disease virus to differentiate infection from vaccination." E. Brocchi, M.I. De Diego, A. Berlinzani, D. Gamba, and F. De Simone. Source: The Veterinary Quarterly, vol. 20, Supplement 2, May 1998
Abstract:This paper summarizes the development of monoclonal anti-bodies to non-structural proteins of FMDV to differentiate infection from vaccination.
(It might be added that the policy adopted by Britain of kill first, lab-test later and not testing at all the killed animals on contiguous farms can hardly be said to have "effectively monitored" the development of the disease.The EEC directives clearly state that vets are responsible for seeing that samples are collected from any holding in which infection is suspected. Is infection NOT suspected at these contiguos premises? No one has any idea at all of the actual number of infected animals in this outbreak.)

It was impossible, even where no outbreaks occurred, to guarantee that the virus was not present in a vaccinated herd.
(But this is to confuse the presence of antibodies with the infectious disease as, for example, in BBC reports of the culling in Wales. Even in the unlikely event of vaccinated animals developing the disease " Animals infected subsequent to their vaccination are likely to shed virus at a low titre, and are unlikely to infect other vaccinated animals that have responded with a good level of antibody. Nor have these animals ever been implicated in spread of infection when they subsequently become persistently infected."
See Ruth Watkins' fuller notes )

Irrespective of those sanitary justifications, a preventive vaccination policy aimed at protecting all animals in the Community would involve significantly greater expense and drawbacks in terms of controls than a non-vaccination policy, having regard to the number of animals to be vaccinated, some 300 million in the Community, the multiplicity of the types of virus and the frequency with which the vaccination would have to be carried out, every six months.
The vaccine is licensed for use in the UK. The EEC acknowledges that the current epidemic in the UK is unlike any in Europe in the last 10 years.

We are on our own and can propose to the EEC how we intend to manage it.

Protection can be conferred after one dose of high potency vaccine or after two doses 3 to 4 weeks apart of commercial vaccines
As to cost, non-vaccination in this country has already cost £ 2.5 billion and that figure is rising.
A

a vaccination policy would limit the export possibilities open to stockfarmers and producers in that state.

This is the crux of the matter. It has nothing to do with "sanitary justifications" or even veterinary justification -it is merely an economic standpoint brought about by the Community itself (and Britain in particular) in 1990.

Lastly, the non-vaccination policy jointly adopted by all the member stateswas designed to guarantee, on the basis of a high level of health, the free movement of goods in the internal market.

The "goods" so described here are often moved around the internal market under conditions that most consumers cannot bear to contemplate - any more than they care to dwell on the slaughter policy pursued with such desperate "rigour" for the past five months.

According to well established scientific opinion, such measures remained the most effective way of combating foot-and-mouth disease, whether or not vaccination had been carried out. It followed that the policy of non-vaccination was not on any view manifestly inappropriate in the light of the objective of controlling foot-and-mouth disease.
There is no veterinary reason to slaughter vaccinated animals.Vaccinated animals are not infected by vaccination, nor are they infectious to other animals if infected after vaccination. Exposure of unvaccinated new stock to contaminated material or infected wildlife will result in another outbreak.Vaccinated animals prevent further acute infection after restocking.Vaccinated animals are safe to eat or for the consumption of products.

However, the arguments in favour of Minister van Landbouw, Natuurbeheer en Visserij in Case C-189/01 appear to have been unopposed.

Ms Jippe's wish to protect her own animals could not be countenanced in the opinion of this EU Court.


Courage, not killing, is the answer Mrs Beckett MAGNUS LINKLATER The Times July 19

Vaccination is still the only answer to the plague ravaging our countryside


July 17 Professor Sir William Stewart (at Porton Down) says on the
Today Programme

"We have seen the rapid spread that can occur if one is not adequately prepared". Asked by Sue McGregor about vaccine for FMD he replied, " That is a question you will have to ask the government not me...my own view is that it should have been used - but wasn't."


The letter that has been sent to Carwyn Jones dated 15th July

from VARIOUS CONCERNED GROUPS WHO ATTENDED THE BUILTH WELLS MEETING _ INCLUDING THE NATIONAL FOOT AND MOUTH GROUP, UNITY, EPYNT ACTION GROUP, GRAZIERS & LOCAL BUSINESSES

" ...those present endorsed a proposal that a meeting should be requested with you, and your advisers, to discuss and consider the limited vaccination scheme proposed by Dr Watkins."


The NFU leadership's extraordinary stance over vaccination tends to be reported without question by journalists who know nothing of the issues. David Hill, for example was less than candid when he spoke to the reporter from Western Morning News (see comment from Alan Beat) who later was "taken aback" when told the facts.


Ruth Watkins, the clinical virologist who has won the respect of the Welsh farmers, has written clearly on the subject

a paper by Ruth Watkins explaining what all farmers with stock need to know about FMD vaccine

Fuller papers by Ruth can be sent to you if you contact the website. The tail end of the epidemic and the exit to FMD-free status by Dr Ruth Watkins


Important Vaccination Meeting (July 11th)See report of this meeting

MONTGOMERY PAVILION, ROYAL WELSH SHOWGROUND, BUILTH WELLS, AT 7.30 PM WEDNESDAY 11TH JULY 2001.It is very important that as many farmers as possible attend this debate.


Vaccination in Wales

Doc.2374/W198 ( which is obtainable from the Welsh National Assembly)


Para. 3 Part 1.
"No person shall vaccinate an animal against fmd except under authority of and in accordance with any conditions specified in a licence in writing granted by the National Assembly for Wales."


From the article in The Vetinerary Record Published March 24, 2001 Volume 148, Number 12, pages 358-360 by Professor Joe Brownlie, Professor of Veterinary Pathology at The Royal Veterinary College.
The European Vaccine Bank was established by the EU and, on 14th January 2000, set out the designated FMDV antigen banks at three sites in Europe ....The FMDV type O strain Manisa is a closely related strain antigenically to the present PanAsia strain (Pirbright Laboratories - pers. commu.). These 5 million doses are then the quantity of vaccine that can be requested for immediate use for the present outbreak. Clearly this is insufficient for a general vaccination of all susceptible sheep, pigs and cattle, though there would be sufficient for strategic vaccination. It provides us with an invaluable safety net if all else fails

All else has failed


Sunday 8th July ~

Foot and mouth: vaccination the answer, says EU

by Geoffrey Lean, Environment Editor
Independent on Sunday

..."There has been no case of foot and mouth in the Netherlands since 22 April, and the country resumed meat exports 10 days ago, giving the lie to the central claim here that vaccination would make exports impossible. Other disasters predicted in Britain that vaccinated animals would pass on the disease and that consumers would refuse immunised meat also failed to materialise."


VACCINATION OF HILL FLOCKS


Monday 2 July 2001Farmers apply for vaccination permission
BBC

..The couple who are hoping to win permission to vaccinate are Lawrence and Karen Wright from Mortehoe. They own a closed flock of organic sheep and are among the few producers of organic ewes milk in Britain.

June 28 an highly significant extract from a

major economic analysis of the options for FMDcontrol published in the current issue ('Spring 2001') of the new magazine'EuroChoices' ~ .Are the costs of maintaining disease-free status without a more flexible attitude to vaccination becoming too high to justify?


Barry Wilson's article about vaccination in last month's " British Dairying"


From the Merial website....Because there are seven serotypes and a large number of significant variants within some of the serotypes,

Merial has a substantial library of vaccine strains to provide cover against newoutbreak viruses as they occur.
Thus Merial was in a position within a few days of the first case in the UK to confirm that several of its vaccinestrains, including O Manisa, were appropriate to protect against thedisease.

Depending on the epidemiological situation, FMD vaccines may contain one or more strains and monovalent, bivalent and trivalent vaccines are commonplace where the valency refers to the numbers of serotypes in the vaccine. Vaccination is either by the subcutaneous route for aqueous vaccines for cattle, sheep and goats or the intramuscular route for oil adjuvanted products for these species plus pigs. No oral vaccines areavailable. Merial vaccines are licensed in the UK for use in cattle, pigs,sheep and goats and while not licensed for use in zoo animals would be expected to confer immunity.


A possible European shift in policy on foot and mouth disease was signalled at the meeting by one of the country's leading clinical virologists. (June 18)

Describing herself as a newcomer to sheep farming bu with a lifetime's experience of dealing with viruses in the human field, Dr. Ruth Watkins fromLlanddeusant, Carmarthenshire, said all the indications now pointed to vaccines being a safe and effective means of tackling the disease.

"I have made it my business to speak to people fromall over the world who are experts in the productionand use of foot and mouth vaccines.

"Vaccination has been in use since the l950's and isan inactivated kill vaccine. Vaccinated animals are not infected with the virus and there is no veterinary reason to slaughter them at all.

"It is extremely efficacious; being oil-based and given intramuscularly, in sheep you can expect almost100 per cent zero conversion."I would be glad if our human vaccines performed as well and yet you know what spectacular success we have had with human vaccines" she said."There are also tests to distinguish a vaccinatedanimal from one that has been infected. These have been in use for several years and are about to beaccepted by the EU.

"The tests look for non-structural proteins,antibodies to those proteins that are made in animals that have been infected. Those proteins are not in thevaccine.

"The vaccine is safe and effective. Used in thecorrect way, the EU might well agree to use it in instances around every known outbreak, and for felland upland sheep in order to contain spread."Used in such a way we could halt all new infections within days and get back to normal. It is very inexpensive at around 50p per shot, and is already licenced in the UK."In my view the use of vaccination has been sidelined and given a very bad press by the NFU throughout thiswhole epidemic"

Describing her as a far more experiencedvirologist than he would ever be, Tony Edwards (ChiefDEFRA vet for Wales) said he would not argue with herover the science."she is absolutely right. Vaccine technology has movedon remarkably and I would not be at all surprised if,following this outbreak, that Europe starts looking at whether vaccination is a sensible way forward for the future."


World's leading fmd scientists request international scientific committee to urgently reconsider vaccination to control current UK epidemic

Prof Brown, Dr Simon Barteling and Dr Paul Sutmollerrequest Annual meeting of worldwide scientists of theOIE to review use of limited vaccination to eradicate the disease.

Prof Fred Brown, the leading world specialist in F&MD,has backed Dr Paul Sutmoller and Dr Simon Barteling intheir request to the OIE, that vaccination, as a meansof controlling the disease in the current UK outbreak,should be urgently reconsidered by the OIE Group atits meeting in Paris today.

The OIE (Office International des Epizooties) is holding its annual meeting of over 150 worldwide scientists and considering 'The importance of emerging diseases in public and animal health and trade.'

In a letter to Dr Vallat, the Director General of the OIE, Dr Sutmoller and Dr Bartleing, say "We are international scientists/consultants in the field of FMD with longtime experience in this field. We have great concern at how Britain and Holland in practice carry out the eradication of FMD."

The letter states: "We have formulated a number of questions (attached) for the delegates and ask them to consider these questions and, on that basis, to takesteps to re-discuss consequences for internationa trade for different scenarios of eradication of FMD."

Prof Fred Brown of the United States Department of Agriculture, based at Plum Island, has written in support "I agree completely with the questions posed by Drs Barteling and Sutmoller and urge the OIE delegates to consider these very carefully."

The list of 20 questions, enclosed below, describes the current situation in Holland and Britain and the impact the current policies of slaughter and contiguous culling are having on the economy, loss of valuable breeding lines, ruining the lives of farmers and that some have committed suicide, the risk of the disease spreading throughout Europe and the resultantslaughter of many healthy animals. The authors alsostate "that large scale slaughter cannot be carried out in a way that containment of the disease is guaranteed and that therefore outbreaks proceed."

Questions also relate to the various tests which existto differentiate between vaccinated and carrier livestock and that there is a social responsiblity for veterinarians and epidemilogists in the implementation of their proposals.

"For these reasons we ask OIE to open discussions to reconsider at short notice the consequences of the application of (limited) vaccination for eradication purposes as an adjunct to slaughter, including thedestiny of the vaccinated animals."

The Foot & Mouth Group are extremely grateful to Prof Brown and Drs Bareling and Sutmoller for putting this matter directly to the OIE meeting. It is this body which ultimately decides internationally how FMDoutbreaks should be controlled and so it is of paramount importance that vaccination is considered atthe highest level.

The current methods of control, based on slaughtering ever increasing numbers of healthy animals has causedeconomic and social distress. The policies of the 48hour cull of contiguous premises, slaughter onsuspicion and dangerous contact killing has resultedin the indiscriminate loss of 100,000's of healthyanimals.

This degree of collateral culling was never envisagedwhen the OIE laid down its initial control procedures.Neither have the OIE ever endorsed the 48 hour cullpolicy of the UK Government. In addition this means ofcontrol was not used in the '67 outbreak.

An urgent and immediate review of control methods isneeded now. The Group urge the OIE to put to the UKGovernment that the use of (limited) vaccination wouldachieve a swifter and less costly return to diseasefree status, than the current indiscrimate cull andslaughter policies.

Contacts:Dr Simon Barteling: Tel: 0031 206 207 688

Dr Paul Sutmoller: Tel: 0031 252 371 369

Prof Fred Brown: 001 631 323 3294(US number - please allow for 5 hour time difference)

F&M Group: Janet Bayley: 01285 644319
Alicia Eykyn: 01494 711649
Ruth Watkins: 01550 740660


TOP

PRESS RELEASE - 27 JUNE 2001

GROUP SUPPORTS VACCINATION OF HILL FLOCKS

The National Foot & Mouth Group have today backed a call by Dr Ruth Watkins that graziers with sheep flocks on the Welsh hills should be allowed to vaccinate their animals.

Dr Watkins, who is a recently retired virologist, has asked DEFRA that she, and other graziers, be given permission to vaccinate their flocks of Welsh mountain sheep. The graziers run hefted flocks on the Brecon Beacons and Welsh Mountains. The 'cynefin' as they are locally known, literally translates as 'sheep with their own habitat'.

Dr Watkins said "The sheep are an integral part of the landscape in Wales and derive from ancient flocks going back almost 2000 years. They simply cannot be replaced. There are a number of unique genetic strains. Any sheep new to the hills wanders off not knowing where to go, nor can its owner find it again. With the 'cynefin' the lambs go up to the hills with their 'cynefin' mothers and learn from them their place on the mountain, where to go for shelter or water, and are familiarised with their flock and their environment.

"If we vaccinated all the sheep on the hills and common land the circulation of virus would cease on the commons. The welfare problem of providing winter feedstuff and winter pastures would be solved. Unless this action is taken we will be facing huge welfare issues throughout the summer, autumn and winter. When the 'cynefin' sheep return to their farms in the autumn none will return with an acute infection so a resurgence of the disease will be avoided. Only 5% of sheep carry virus for as long as 9 months so if we vaccinate now and halt the spread in the 'cynefin' flocks none will remain carriers by next summer."

The move has been welcomed by local businesses whose trade has been severely affected by the closure of the countryside and the devastating losses suffered by the tourism industry throughout spring and early summer.

Angela Whitlock of Celtic Canoes and Lodge said "As soon as we can get the countryside opened up and the footpaths and bridleways can be used again then we may be able to retrieve something of the summer season. If we carry on with no bookings and no income throughout the rest of the season then we will see many more businesses go to the wall."

Roy Miller, a farmer from near Welshpool, said "As soon as we vaccinate the clock starts ticking. But if we carry on never knowing when the last outbreak is going to happen it could be months before we can start planning and making arrangements to get stock moving and markets reopened. We've got to be realistic about when we're going to get the export markets back and we've got to get this disease stopped in its tracks. We need certainty. If the 'cynefyn' sheep go up on to the hills without vaccinating them we're looking at months before we're ever going to be clear of the disease. Many organisations are now saying openly that the subject of vaccination has never had a proper airing. It certainly deserves it now."

The Group believe that preventative inoculation of susceptible animals requires proper consideration. Without vaccination the disease will carry on breaking out throughout the summer and beyond with massive and disproportionate losses to tourism and the wider rural economy. Rural communities and their infrastructure have suffered enough and decisive action is needed now.

Contacts:

Janet Bayley: 01285 644319 Ruth Watkins: 01550 740660 or 07980 827273

Angela Whitlock 01497 847422

The scientific papers supporting Dr Watkins submission are available on request.

TOP


Comments written by Alicia Eykyn (with help from scientists) in 2001

Prophylactic vaccination

There are seven serotypes of the virus.  Usually these have occurred in particular areas of the world.  For example, in Europe it is usually a virus of serotype O and occasionally A.  In Africa, the three Southern African Territories Viruses SAT1, SAT2, SAT3 also occur.  Vaccination against virus of one serotype does not confer immunity against viruses of the other six types. There is also a variation within the serotypes.

 

However, there is usually a degree of cross-protection within viruses of a given serotype.  Western Europe was protected for 40 years, apart from one hiccup in 1966, when a 'new' virus from South America of serotype O broke through. In future the aim would be to have a Polyvalent (effective against all serotypes of FMD). Trivalent vaccines are available and licensed for use*

 

The entire philosophy of a vaccine bank is based on the fact that variation is not a crucial factor. This is an internationally agreed programme. What on earth is the point of keeping up the vaccine banks throughout Europe – costing millions if they are not called upon for use? 

 

2 Ring vaccination

 

This is an entirely different matter.  In this case the virus causing the outbreak is known and the appropriate vaccine can be used. It also could be very successful.

 

Neither approach should require the slaughter of uninfected animals following vaccination.  Excellent tests are available to tell the difference between infected animals and those being protected by vaccination. 

 

3 What is required is that the OIE change the rules to suit the science  Not make the rules and then make the science fit - as is happening at the moment.

 

The problem, which clearly came out at the Brussels Conference (at which I was a delegate) is not in the availability or efficacy of either the vaccines or the availability of rapid and efficient methods of testing for the disease. (Particularly tests to tell the difference between vaccinated animals and those naturally infected.) What is lacking is the will to accept these by validation. The reasons are political both with the scientists and the governments.

 

4  What needs to be undertaken:

 

·        Stop the UK dragging its feet with the help of Ireland  (Very marked at Brussels)

·        Look into what is going on at the Animal Health Labs and the reasons for lack of cooperation between the scientists. Money and egos will almost certainly be found to be the cause.

·        Ask and then take the advice of the scientists who actually know about and have studied the disease.   Study their CV's and see what work they have done in the field.  Stop asking people who, at best, can only have a theoretical knowledge. Even with knowledgeable people you will get some periphery disagreement – but you will find they will agree fundamentally. (The reason you get so much disagreement in the present regime is that people with no knowledge are being asked to air their views.  It is already happening again in, of all places, the Royal Society Inquiry.  Very few of the panel have any qualifications in FMD.)  Virologist in particular in this outbreak has been sidelined, in favour of mathematicians and vets, with very little or no prior knowledge of the disease.  A further staring example has been the make up of the Science Group headed by Prof. David King.

 

 

·        Money is the root cause of this evil as there is so little funding available for any sort of science. So as soon as anything comes up under the label of "science" anyone and everyone in the science world jumps in and claims to be 'experts'.  If they have the charisma to deceive the Government, (which is what has happened over FMD), they get away with it to the detriment of us all.  The Government cannot admit its mistake so the problem continues.

 

·        On the whole, following on from the above the only scientists who can truly be trusted are those who have retired or can be seen through their CV's to have a passion for their subject and enough character to be ethical and trustworthy in following that passion.

 


 

 

 


* The vaccine proposed is the killed (inactivated) vaccine- the modern vaccine of the type that has been in use for about 45 years. Despite the fact there are 7 serotypes of FMD in the world a monovalent vaccine can be used because the infecting strain of virus, serotype O subtype PanAsia has been isolated and the VP1 protein sequenced early in this epidemic. The serotype O vaccine contains the Manisa strain and from the sequence data can be anticipated to produce cross-reacting neutralising antibody. The Dutch have proved this as they had no further outbreak with our virus 5 days after completing vaccination.
Dr Ruth Watkins - Hefted Sheep document

The seven types of FMD virus (O, A, C, SAT-1, SAT-2, SAT-3 and Asia-1) do not protect significantly against each other, and so the vaccine must be of the same TYPE as that involved in the outbreak (i.e. Type "O"). Within types, there is a level of variation which means that a poorly matched vaccine will give less than optimal protection.  Therefore once the OUTBREAK type is determined, the most closely related vaccine stock should be chosen to give the highest level of protection. This has been done and a suitable vaccine found. The vaccination procedure is not as complicated as the alternative and as for its success rate:
With the modern emergency vaccines which exist vaccinated animals showed greatly reduced virus excretion from 4 days after immunisation. Through judicious selection of modern adjuvants (substances which enhance vaccine performance), modern emergency vaccines can induce a strong immune response which can prevent vaccinated animals after being challenged from passing infection to animals in contact (Cox et al, 1999), Therefore the level of protection was sufficient to prevent onward spread from vaccinated animals, which in a herd situation would mean that infection would move very slowly if at all through the vaccinated herd, and be unlikely to infect other herds through the airborne route.
Cox, S.J. et al, 1999. Vaccine 17, 1858-1868. Rweyemamu, M.M, et al. 1982. The control of FMD by vaccination. The Veterinary Annual, 22, 63-80. Sellers, R.F et al, 1977. Research in veterinary science, 23, 70-75.

A suitable vaccine exists in emergency vaccine format at the Institute for Animal Health, Pirbright, and among the European vaccine bank in other Member States. Since we aim to eradicate infection of this particular virus "strain" from the country there is no need in this outbreak to worry about protecting against other virus types or strains. A "cocktail" (multi-valent) of vaccines are only needed where there are multiple types and strains of virus in the outbreak which is not the case here. The UK FMD virus strain is a type O virus, and genetically close to the O1 Manisa vaccine strain held in the emergency bank.
KEITH SUMPTION of The Centre for Tropical Veterinary Medicine, The University of Edinburgh

Merial's FMD vaccines are based on a suspension of highly purified inactivated antigens of the FMD virus in an adjuvant base. Because there are seven serotypes and a large number of significant variants within some of the serotypes, Merial has a substantial library of vaccine strains to provide cover against new outbreak viruses as they occur. Thus Merial was in a position within a few days of the first case in the UK to confirm that several of its vaccine strains, including O Manisa, were appropriate to protect against the disease. Depending on the epidemiological situation, FMD vaccines may contain one or more strains and monovalent, bivalent and trivalent vaccines are commonplace where the valency refers to the numbers of serotypes in the vaccine. Vaccination is either by the subcutaneous route for aqueous vaccines for cattle, sheep and goats or the intramuscular route for oil adjuvanted products for these species plus pigs. No oral vaccines are available. Merial vaccines are licensed in the UK for use in cattle, pigs, sheep and goats and while not licensed for use in zoo animals would be expected to confer immunity.
Merial


Paul V Barnett CBiol, MIBiol, PhD Intemational FMD Vaccine Bank Institute for Animal Health, Pirbright - his view in April 2001

TOP Gavin McCrone, Vice-Chairman, Royal Society of Edinburgh Inquiry into Foot and Mouth Disease~ Vaccination: a tool of first resort in foot and mouth Scotland on Sunday, 18 August 2002


Bullet points on the FMD vaccine.

Compiled By Dr Ruth Watkins (clinical virologist) on 19th June 2001 from information gleaned from Prof Fred Brown FRS, Drs Paul Sutmoller, Simon Barteling and Paul Kitching (world experts on FMD).

 

Foot and mouth disease virus.

*The virus is an RNA virus (the viral nucleic acid is RNA).

*The FMD virus, an aphthovirus, is in the Picornavirus family.

*Viruses in this family are not enveloped but consist of nucleic acid surrounded by a "protein coat" , called the capsid.

*These viruses are hardy in the environment though the aphthovirus genus is sensitive to acid PH (the particle "explodes" when exposed to PH <5).

*The 7 serotypes each require by definition type-specific neutralising (protective) antibody to be rendered non-infectious.

*Neutralising antibody reacts with the external protein coat, the capsid. Even one molecule complexed with the virus locks the nucleic acid within the capsid so that a neutralised virus particle cannot replicate even should it enter a cell.

*Each serotype is stable so that the vaccines prepared for each have remained effective (the exception is type C for which the vaccine was reformulated).

*The virus causing this outbreak is serotype O, Pan Asia subtype- the serotype O vaccine (prepared from the Manisa subtype) is effective in protecting against this epidemic strain.

 

The FMD Vaccine.

*It is a killed (inactivated) vaccine.

*It induces immunity but does not infect the vaccinated animal.

*This type of FMD vaccine has been used for 40 years and it is well tested in the field.

*The modern vaccine is safer than the old vaccines because it is rendered non-infectious by a single step inactivation with BEI (rather than formaldehyde).

*Modern quality control in vaccine production also ensures a safe product (one that does not contain live or infectious virus).

*Virtually 100% of animals respond to the oil-based vaccines, given IM, by making protective antibody that is specific to the serotype of FMD virus in the vaccine. It is prepared from virus particles harvested from tissue culture.

*The vaccine is licensed for use in the UK.

*Protection can be conferred after one dose of high potency vaccine or after two doses 3 to 4 weeks apart of commercial vaccines.

 

Vaccine protects against disease and halts spread of infection.

*The response to vaccination protects against disease.

*Response to vaccine does not protect completely against infection, like all killed vaccines in humans and animals. They are nevertheless successful in controlling and eradicating infections.

*A vaccinated animal can only be infected with a very large dose of virus e.g. from a non-vaccinated pig that is acutely infected.

*A vaccinee has a modified infection because of pre-existing immunity at the time of exposure.

*A vaccinee sheds lower titres of virus than a non-vaccinated infected animal.

*A vaccinee sheds virus complexed with neutralising (protective) antibody.

*A vaccinated animal is protected against infection from another acutely infected vaccinee.

*A vaccinee has not been shown to infect another animal whether vaccinated or not.

 

 

Vaccinated carriers do not pose a problem.

*Persistent infections arise in cattle, sheep and goats in a proportion of infected animals- called carriers.

*Though these carriers cannot be proved to spread infection in laboratory conditions they have been held responsible for outbreaks in a few historical instances on circumstantial evidence.

*Vaccinated carriers have been shown to arise in cattle. Sheep have not been studied.

*The period of carriage is shorter and the number of carriers less in vaccinated animals than unvaccinated animals.

*Vaccinated carriers have never been shown to spread infection to another animal. It remains a hypothetical possibility only.

 

Control and elimination of virus by vaccination.

*Vaccination of the herd or flock (at least 80%) will prevent further transmission of infection (whilst vaccine of high potency stimulates the protective immune response there may be one more cycle of infection in an already infected flock).

*Transmission of virus is halted by vaccination.

*There were no further outbreaks 5 days after vaccination around the outbreaks in Holland.

*Vaccinated animals will prevent recrudescence of outbreaks from sources such as material contaminated with infectious virus, acutely infected wildlife and the rare unvaccinated infected carrier that reactivates, the 1 in a million chance.

*All carriers in domestic animals eventually stop carrying virus- sheep and goats by about 9 months and cattle and Water Buffalo by 3 years. Pigs are not thought to become carriers.

*Thus vaccination leads to elimination of virus from the population or country.

 

There is no veterinary reason to slaughter vaccinated animals.

*Vaccinated animals are not infected by vaccination, nor are they infectious to other animals if infected after vaccination.

*Exposure of unvaccinated new stock to contaminated material or infected wildlife will result in another outbreak.

*Vaccinated animals prevent further acute infection after restocking.

*Vaccinated animals are safe to eat or for the consumption of products.

*We have consumed hundreds of millions of vaccinated animals in Europe and milk from them and continue to do so now in other parts of the world

*Once all acute infections is halted, and 3 weeks have elapsed in those animals that have been acutely infected to allow clearance of the acute infection (whether or not the virus persists as a carrier), we could open markets and allow animal movements within the UK (though we may not trade as FMD-free for a period of time).


More from 2001

1 Prophylactic vaccination

1 Prophylactic vaccination.

 

Yes there are seven serotypes of the virus. Usually these have occurred in particular areas of the world. For example, in Europe it is usually a virus of serotype O and occasionally A. In Africa, the three Southern African Territories Viruses SAT1, SAT2, SAT3 also occur. Vaccination against virus of one serotype does not confer immunity against viruses of the other six types. There is also a variation within the serotypes.

 

However, there is usually a degree of cross-protection within viruses of a given serotype. Western Europe was protected for 40 years, apart from one hiccup in 1966, when a 'new' virus from South America of serotype O broke through. In future the aim would be to have a Polyvalent (effective against all serotypes of FMD). Trivalent vaccines are available and licensed for use*

 

The entire philosophy of a vaccine bank is based on the fact that variation is not a crucial factor. This is an internationally agreed programme. What on earth is the point of keeping up the vaccine banks throughout Europe  costing millions if they are not called upon for use?

 

2 Ring vaccination

 

This is an entirely different matter. In this case the virus causing the outbreak is known and the appropriate vaccine can be used. It also could be very successful.

 

Neither approach should require the slaughter of uninfected animals following vaccination. Excellent tests are available to tell the difference between infected animals and those being protected by vaccination.

 

3 What is required is that the OIE change the rules to suit the science Not make the rules and then make the science fit - as is happening at the moment.

 

The problem, which clearly came out at the Brussels Conference (at which I was a delegate) is not in the availability or efficacy of either the vaccines or the availability of rapid and efficient methods of testing for the disease. (Particularly tests to tell the difference between vaccinated animals and those naturally infected.) What is lacking is the will to accept these by validation. The reasons are political both with the scientists and the governments.

 

4 What needs to be undertaken:

 

7        Stop the UK dragging its feet with the help of Ireland (Very marked at Brussels)

7        Look into what is going on at the Animal Health Labs and the reasons for lack of cooperation between the scientists. Money and egos will almost certainly be found to be the cause.

7        Ask and then take the advice of the scientists who actually know about and have studied the disease. Study their CV's and see what work they have done in the field. Stop asking people who, at best, can only have a theoretical knowledge. Even with knowledgeable people you will get some periphery disagreement  but you will find they will agree fundamentally. (The reason you get so much disagreement in the present regime is that people with no knowledge are being asked to air their views. It is already happening again in, of all places, the Royal Society Inquiry. Very few of the panel have any qualifications in FMD.) Virologist in particular in this outbreak has been sidelined, in favour of mathematicians and vets, with very little or no prior knowledge of the disease. A further staring example has been the make up of the Science Group headed by Prof. David King.

 

 

7        Money is the root cause of this evil as there is so little funding available for any sort of science. So as soon as anything comes up under the label of "science" anyone and everyone in the science world jumps in and claims to be 'experts'. If they have the charisma to deceive the Government, (which is what has happened over FMD), they get away with it to the detriment of us all. The Government cannot admit its mistake so the problem continues.

7        On the whole, following on from the above the only scientists who can truly be trusted are those who have retired or can be seen through their CV's to have a passion for their subject and enough character to be ethical and trustworthy in following that passion.

 

 

 

 


* The vaccine proposed is the killed (inactivated) vaccine- the modern vaccine of the type that has been in use for about 45 years. Despite the fact there are 7 serotypes of FMD in the world a monovalent vaccine can be used because the infecting strain of virus, serotype O subtype PanAsia has been isolated and the VP1 protein sequenced early in this epidemic. The serotype O vaccine contains the Manisa strain and from the sequence data can be anticipated to produce cross-reacting neutralising antibody. The Dutch have proved this as they had no further outbreak with our virus 5 days after completing vaccination.
Dr Ruth Watkins - Hefted Sheep document

The seven types of FMD virus (O, A, C, SAT-1, SAT-2, SAT-3 and Asia-1) do not protect significantly against each other, and so the vaccine must be of the same TYPE as that involved in the outbreak (i.e. Type "O"). Within types, there is a level of variation which means that a poorly matched vaccine will give less than optimal protection.  Therefore once the OUTBREAK type is determined, the most closely related vaccine stock should be chosen to give the highest level of protection. This has been done and a suitable vaccine found. The vaccination procedure is not as complicated as the alternative and as for its success rate:
With the modern emergency vaccines which exist vaccinated animals showed greatly reduced virus excretion from 4 days after immunisation. Through judicious selection of modern adjuvants (substances which enhance vaccine performance), modern emergency vaccines can induce a strong immune response which can prevent vaccinated animals after being challenged from passing infection to animals in contact (Cox et al, 1999), Therefore the level of protection was sufficient to prevent onward spread from vaccinated animals, which in a herd situation would mean that infection would move very slowly if at all through the vaccinated herd, and be unlikely to infect other herds through the airborne route.
Cox, S.J. et al, 1999. Vaccine 17, 1858-1868. Rweyemamu, M.M, et al. 1982. The control of FMD by vaccination. The Veterinary Annual, 22, 63-80. Sellers, R.F et al, 1977. Research in veterinary science, 23, 70-75.

A suitable vaccine exists in emergency vaccine format at the Institute for Animal Health, Pirbright, and among the European vaccine bank in other Member States. Since we aim to eradicate infection of this particular virus "strain" from the country there is no need in this outbreak to worry about protecting against other virus types or strains. A "cocktail" (multi-valent) of vaccines are only needed where there are multiple types and strains of virus in the outbreak which is not the case here. The UK FMD virus strain is a type O virus, and genetically close to the O1 Manisa vaccine strain held in the emergency bank.
KEITH SUMPTION of The Centre for Tropical Veterinary Medicine, The University of Edinburgh

Merial's FMD vaccines are based on a suspension of highly purified inactivated antigens of the FMD virus in an adjuvant base. Because there are seven serotypes and a large number of significant variants within some of the serotypes, Merial has a substantial library of vaccine strains to provide cover against new outbreak viruses as they occur. Thus Merial was in a position within a few days of the first case in the UK to confirm that several of its vaccine strains, including O Manisa, were appropriate to protect against the disease. Depending on the epidemiological situation, FMD vaccines may contain one or more strains and monovalent, bivalent and trivalent vaccines are commonplace where the valency refers to the numbers of serotypes in the vaccine. Vaccination is either by the subcutaneous route for aqueous vaccines for cattle, sheep and goats or the intramuscular route for oil adjuvanted products for these species plus pigs. No oral vaccines are available. Merial vaccines are licensed in the UK for use in cattle, pigs, sheep and goats and while not licensed for use in zoo animals would be expected to confer immunity.
Merial