Canada approves E coli
vaccine for cattle
Source of Article: http://www.cidrap.umn.edu/cidrap/content/fs/food-disease/news/nov0308cattle-br.html
Nov 3, 2008 (CIDRAP News) – Bioniche
Life Sciences, based in Belleville,
Ont., announced recently that it received full approval from the Canadian
Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) to market the world's first vaccine to reduce Escherichia
coli O157:H7 shedding by cattle, a measure that could decrease
contamination in meat and produce.
Brett Finlay, a microbiologist at the University of
British Columbia whose research led to development of the vaccine, said in an
Oct 27 Bioniche press release, "If we block
the colonization of cows by O157, we basically decrease the number that
humans are exposed to, and thus, dropping disease levels in humans."
The company said the vaccine could also be used in
livestock at petting zoos and agricultural expositions to reduce bacterial
transmission to humans.
also positioning itself to market the vaccine to cattle producers in the United States,
according to a previous report. In February, the US Department of Agriculture
(USDA) notified the company that the latest data on the vaccine met its
"expectation of efficacy" standard, which allowed the company to
pursue a conditional US
E coli O157:H7 doesn't sicken cattle but is
potentially fatal to humans. It produces a toxin that causes diarrhea, often
bloody, but usually no fever. Though most patients with E coli O157:H7
infections recover in 5 to 10 days, 2% to 7% develop hemolytic uremic
syndrome, a potentially fatal form of kidney failure.
'A missing link'
Clark, a nephrologist at the London Health Sciences
Centre in London,
Ont., said that an E coli O157:H7 vaccine isn't a firewall against
food contamination, according to an Oct 28 report from the Canadian
Broadcasting Corporation (CBC). "I'm not sure any one solution will do
it, and I certainly think people still have to be very careful with their
food practices," he told the CBC.
Kym Anthony, a specialty beef producer in Clarksburg, Ont., said in the Bioniche press release that he has been using the vaccine
over the past year under a conditional Canadian permit. "We've been
trying to do our part to be an industry leader in food safety. The E coli
vaccine fits into that," Anthony said. "It's been a missing link in
the industry so far."
However, some producers may find the cost prohibitive.
Rick Holley, a professor of food safety and microbiology at the University of Manitoba, told the CBC, "So long as these organisms don't make the animals sick,
you're not going to see a great deal of incentive to move toward
The company did not list a cost for the vaccine, but
officials previously told CIDRAP News that a course of the vaccine would
likely cost less than $10 per head of cattle. As approved by the CFIA, the
course involves three doses, but a study published in the October issue of Foodborne Pathogens and Disease showed that
a two-dose regimen reduced the probability of environmental transmission of E
coli O157:H7 within a large-scale cattle feeding operation.
The vaccine, called Econiche,
will be produced at Bioniche's Belleville facility, which is undergoing a
$25 million expansion. The company said vaccine supplies would be limited
during the expansion period.
US company eyes cattle vaccine
On the same day Bioniche announced it had received
full Canadian approval, a US company, GeneThera,
Inc, based in Wheat Ridge, Colo., announced that it had signed an agreement
with the University of New Mexico's (UNM's)
technology transfer arm to license and distribute a cattle E coli
vaccine developed at the UNM Health Sciences Center.
The vaccine contains live attenuated bacteria developed by
Edgar Boedeker, an internal medicine professor at
UNM, and Chengru Zhu, formerly of UNM and now chief
of environmental microbiology at the Maryland Department of Health, according
to a GeneThera statement. The vaccine is designed
to inhibit the carriage and shedding of enterohemorrhagic
E coli such as O157:H7.
Tony Milici, MD, PhD, GeneThera's chairman, said in the statement that the
company will launch phase 2 clinical trials shortly. "Our goal is to
take the vaccine to market as soon as possible," he added.
Oct 27 Bioniche
about vaccine's approval
Oct 17 Bioniche
about study of vaccine
RA, Peterson RE, et al. A two-dose regimen of a vaccine against Escherichia
coli O157:H7 type III secreted proteins reduced environmental
transmission of the agent in a large-scale commercial beef feedlot clinical
trial. Foodborne Pathogens and Disease 2008 Oct