Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Damping down.

Irish trials in conjunction with our own Professor Glyn Hewinson at VLA (Veterinary Laboratories Agency) have been working on BSG 'vaccines' to damp down transmission of tb in badgers. It is our understanding that the work may be ready for publication in early May.

Mr. Hewinson explained:
"Sixty potential vaccines have been tested on mice and guinea pigs, 10 in cattle. The most promising is based on boosting the immune response primed by BCG, with another type of vaccine. BCG might work well with badgers, because although it doesn't prevent primary infection in the lungs, it does prevent Tb spreading to other organs. This may reduce the chance of badgers spreading Tb to cattle and each other".

While any 'damping down' of Tb transmission is welcome, one might question Prof. Hewinson's assurance that the complex vaccine "does not prevent primary infection in the lungs" of the candidate badgers. Thus transmission via bite wounding, territorial aggression and in the confines of the sett would still presumably occur. Only the urinary / intestinal route may be protected.

We have quoted from Captain Ben's PQ's (all 500 are archived) and certainly any reduction on the 300,000 units of Tb bacterium contained in 1 ml of urine from a badger with kidney lesions is good news. But those primary lung lesions are not going to halt the spread of Tb throughout the badger population (especially from an infected sow to her cubs in the confines of the sett) and the animal will still suffer a long drawn out, and increasingly public death.

And don't forget the cats. Or the deer or...... any other tuberculosis ' spillover' casualties.

No comments: