COLOMBIA – A team of microbiologists at the United Nations is working on a vaccine for infectious bovine rhinotracheitis (IBR) that could clear up complications in monitoring the disease.
Studies are working on an ‘inactivated biological model’ being trialed in rabbits for a recombinant vaccine.
Commercial IBR vaccines are available but not without complications, said Professor Victor Vera, an epidemiologist at the UN.
Tests do not allow for differentiation for vaccinated and infected animals and some products have a long latency between administration and immunity.
Professor Vera said: "In Colombia, although the disease was detected in 1974, it was in the early 1990’s when studies looking into field level behaviour were offering perspective on the illness.”
There are 22 million head of cattle in Columbia, of which 16 per cent are in dairy systems, 36 per cent are dual purpose breeds and 48 per cent are specialist beef breeds, says the country’s National Agricultural Survey.
Annual beef consumption is 15.2 kg per capita, according to latest government figures in October 2012.
Photo Courtesy of the UN
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