Merial unveils equine WNV vaccine


Merial has released a new equine vaccine ? Recombitek? Equine West Nile Virus (WNV) vaccine.

Merial has released a new equine vaccine Recombitek Equine West Nile Virus (WNV) vaccine.The recent USDA approval of Recombitek Equine West Nile Virus vaccine offers veterinarians a unique product backed by cutting-edge science to yield fast-acting and long-lasting protection from the often-deadly virus, the company says.The Recombitek West Nile Virus vaccine uses recombinant DNA technology to stimulate a fast, multifaceted and long-lasting immune response proven by natural mosquito challenge of West Nile Virus, says Dr. Mike Murray, Merial equine technical director for strategic development. The fast-acting immune response was demonstrated in a controlled trial that showed horses were protected from viremia caused by West Nile Virus infection when challenged as early as two weeks after completion of the two-vaccination series.According to Merial, the benefits of recombinant vaccine technology include a fast, multifaceted (humoral and cell-mediated) immune response, targeted antigen presentation, and a level of safety inherent to this technology because there is no possibility of live virus replication.Recombinant technology vaccines have an intrinsic safety factor because animals receiving the recombinant vaccine are never exposed to the disease-producing organism, Murray says. In 2002, West Nile Virus exploded throughout the U.S. equine population, resulting in 15,257 documented cases, according to Merial. The USDA estimates a mortality rate of approximately one-third of horses showing clinical signs of WNV disease. Although the total number of cases in the United States declined in 2003, WNV presented itself in various geographic regions, including a five-fold increase in clinical cases reported in the Mid-Atlantic states, demonstrating this disease remains dangerous and unpredictable, Merial reports.

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