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Vaccines for emerging infections

Author(s) : N. Marano, C. Rupprecht & R. Regnery

Summary :

Emerging infectious diseases represent a grave threat to animal and human populations in terms of their impact on global health, agriculture and the economy. Vaccines developed for emerging infections in animals can protect animal health and prevent transmission of zoonotic diseases to humans. Examples in this paper illustrate how industry and public health can collaborate to develop a vaccine to prevent an emerging disease in horses (West Nile virus vaccine), how poultry vaccination can protect animals and prevent transmission to people (avian influenza vaccine), how regulatory changes can pave the way for vaccines that will control the carrier state in animals and thus prevent infection in humans (Bartonella henselae vaccine in cats) and how novel technologies could be applied to vaccinate wildlife reservoir species for rabies. Stemming from the realisation that zoonotic diseases are the predominant source of human emerging infectious diseases, it behoves academic, public health, and animal health agencies to consider creative constructive approaches to combat serious public health challenges. Vaccination of vector/reservoir species, when efficacious vaccines are available, offers significant advantages to combating zoonotic human disease.

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