Health

Background

New vaccine against Rift Valley fever

A new vaccine against Rift Valley fever virus has been developed and proved to be safe.

Rift Valley fever virus (RVFV) is spread by mosquitoes and can cause serious illness in cattle. In newborn lambs, the disease leads to death and in pregnant ewes it leads to abortion. People usually get flu-like symptoms, but the virus can also cause serious illness and even death. RVF is currently not present in Europe, but there is a chance that the disease will spread.

Castellum research programme

The development of a new vaccine against RVFV is an accomplishment of the Castellum research programme: a public-private partnership aimed at developing vaccines against zoonoses. Wageningen Bioveterinary Research (WBVR) in the Netherlands has developed and tested the vaccine for safety and efficacy at its laboratory and animal facilities.

New RVF vaccine

The new vaccine is a live-attenuated virus that protects sheep, cattle and goats against RVF after a single administration. The vaccine also proved completely safe, even for young animals and during pregnancy. Furthermore, the vaccine is inexpensive to manufacture, which is particularly important for the market in Africa. The vaccine is currently being evaluated in additional studies that are required for registering the vaccine in Europe.

Source: WUR