Corporate Banner
Satellite Banner
Biologics & Bioprocessing
Scientific Community
Become a Member | Sign in
Home>News>This Article

New Foot-and-Mouth Vaccine is Safer and Cheaper to Produce

Published: Thursday, March 28, 2013
Last Updated: Thursday, March 28, 2013
Bookmark and Share
A new vaccine against foot-and-mouth disease that is safer to produce and easier to store has been developed by scientists from the University of Oxford and The Pirbright Institute.

They have used a new method to produce a vaccine that doesn't rely on inactivating the live, infectious virus which causes the disease – and is therefore much safer to produce.

Instead the vaccine consists of empty virus shells that have been produced synthetically, and are designed to produce an immune response that protects against the disease.

Furthermore, the empty shells have been engineered to be more stable, making the vaccine much easier to store because the need for the vaccine to be refrigerated is reduced.

The 2001 foot and mouth outbreak in Britain was devastating and cost the economy billions of pounds in control measures and compensation. One recommendation in a Royal Society report following the epidemic recommended the development of new approaches to control the virus.

An improved vaccine against the disease would also be important in countries where the disease is endemic, which are often in the developing world.

The research was led by Professor David Stuart, professor of structural biology at the University of Oxford and life science director at Diamond Light Source, and Dr Bryan Charleston of The Pirbright Institute. The findings are published in the journal PLOS Pathogens.

'What we have achieved here is close to the holy grail of foot-and-mouth vaccines. Unlike the traditional vaccines, there is no chance that the empty shell vaccine could revert to an infectious form,' says Professor Stuart.

Dr Charleston adds: 'The ability to produce a vaccine outside of high containment and that does not require a cold storage chain should greatly increase production capacity and reduce costs. Globally there is an undersupply of the vaccine due to the high cost of production and this new development could solve this problem and significantly control foot-and-mouth disease worldwide.'

Early clinical trials of the new vaccine in cattle have shown it is as effective as current vaccines. Whilst a commercial product is still several years away, the team hopes that the technology can be transferred as quickly as possible to make it available to a global market.

One of the problems of existing vaccines against foot and mouth disease is identifying which animals have been vaccinated and which haven't.

Dr Charleston says: 'The complete absence of some viral proteins from this new vaccine will also allow companion diagnostic tests to be further refined to demonstrate the absence of infection in vaccinated animals with greater confidence.'

The work on the structure of the virus shells and identification of mutations to improve their stability was carried out by Professor David Stuart and his team at Oxford University using Diamond Light Source, the UK's national synchrotron facility.

Dr Bryan Charleston at Pirbright Institute and Professor Ian Jones at Reading University and their teams incorporated the mutations into the empty virus shells and showed they stimulate protective immunity in cattle.

Together the three groups have developed a system for the production of empty protein shells in commercially viable amounts.

Richard Seabrook, Head of Business Development at the Wellcome Trust, which part-funded the work, says: 'This vaccine still has some way to go before it will be available to farmers but these early results are very encouraging.'

Nigel Gibbens, the UK's Chief Veterinary Officer, comments: 'There are many more years of work and research to be done to get this vaccine ready for use, but this is undoubtedly an exciting leap forward. Once available, vaccines of this type would have clear advantages over current technology as a possible option to help control the disease should we ever have another foot and mouth disease outbreak.

'This vaccine has been developed using some truly groundbreaking techniques which are a credit to the quality of British scientists working in the field of animal health.'

The scientists involved believe this new approach to making and stabilising a vaccine may also work with other viruses from the same family, including viruses that infect humans such as polio.

'This work will have a broad and enduring impact on vaccine development, and the technology should be transferable to other viruses from the same family, such as poliovirus and hand foot and mouth disease, a human virus which is currently endemic in south-east Asia,' says Professor Stuart.

Further Information
Access to this exclusive content is for Technology Networks Premium members only.

Join Technology Networks Premium for free access to:

  • Exclusive articles
  • Presentations from international conferences
  • Over 2,600+ scientific posters on ePosters
  • More than 3,800+ scientific videos on LabTube
  • 35 community eNewsletters

Sign In

Forgotten your details? Click Here
If you are not a member you can join here

*Please note: By logging into you agree to accept the use of cookies. To find out more about the cookies we use and how to delete them, see our privacy policy.

Related Content

Ebola Vaccine Trial Begins in Senegal
A clinical trial to evaluate an Ebola vaccine has begun in Dakar, Senegal, after initial research started at the Jenner Institute, Oxford University.
Thursday, July 16, 2015
Oxford Vaccine Group Begins First Trial of New Ebola Vaccine
Oxford University doctors and scientists are starting the first safety trial of an experimental preventative Ebola vaccine regimen being developed by the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson (Janssen).
Wednesday, January 07, 2015
New Vaccine Generates Strong Immune Response Against Hepatitis C
A new hepatitis C vaccine has shown promising results in an early clinical trial at Oxford University, generating strong and broad immune responses against the virus causing the disease.
Friday, November 07, 2014
Meningitis Mass Vaccination Sees Cases Drop 94%
A mass vaccination campaign in Chad in 2011 reduced all cases of meningitis by 94% and saw no cases of serogroup A meningococcal meningitis detected in 2012.
Monday, September 16, 2013
Oxford's Role in New Meningitis Vaccine
EMA recommends Novartis' Bexero (MenB) vaccine to protect children against meningitis B.
Thursday, November 22, 2012
First Trial of a New Hepatitis C Vaccine Shows Promise
A new vaccine against the chronic liver disease hepatitis C has shown promising results in a first clinical trial in humans, Oxford University researchers report.
Thursday, January 05, 2012
Scientific News
Enzyme Malfunction May be Why Binge Drinking Can Lead to Alcoholism
A new study in mice shows that restoring the synthesis of a key brain chemical tied to inhibiting addictive behavior may help prevent alcohol cravings following binge drinking.
New Treatment for Obesity Developed
Researchers at the University of Liverpool, working with a global healthcare company, have helped develop a new treatment for obesity.
New Protein Found in Immune Cells
Immunobiologists from the University of Freiburg discover Kidins220/ARMS in B cells and demonstrate its functions.
New Approach to Treating Heparin-induced Blood Disorder
A potential treatment for a serious clotting condition that can strike patients who receive heparin to treat or prevent blood clots may lie within reach by elucidating the structure of the protein complex at its root.
Antibody Treatment Efficacious in Psoriasis
An experimental, biologic treatment, brodalumab, achieved 100 percent reduction in psoriasis symptoms in twice as many patients as a second, commonly used treatment, according to the results of a multicenter clinical trial led by Mount Sinai researchers.
Promising Drug Candidate to Treat Chronic Itch
In a new study, scientists from the Florida campus of The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) describe a class of compounds with the potential to stop chronic itch without the adverse side effects normally associated with medicating the condition.
Escape Prevention
Studying flu virus structure brings us a step closer to a permanent vaccine.
13 Ways to Stop an Unseen Force from Disrupting Weighing
Download a free Mettler Toledo paper to discover how to halt static’s negative effects before the next weigh-in.
Inroads Against Leukaemia
Potential for halting disease in molecule isolated from sea sponges.
A New Single-Molecule Tool to Observe Enzymes at Work
A team of scientists at the University of Washington and the biotechnology company Illumina have created an innovative tool to directly detect the delicate, single-molecule interactions between DNA and enzymatic proteins.

Skyscraper Banner
Go to LabTube
Go to eposters
Access to the latest scientific news
Exclusive articles
Upload and share your posters on ePosters
Latest presentations and webinars
View a library of 1,800+ scientific and medical posters
2,600+ scientific and medical posters
A library of 2,500+ scientific videos on LabTube
3,800+ scientific videos