The 2011 Scottish Research Institutes’ RSE annual lecture, entitled “Vaccines for Zoonotic Diseases”, highlighted the research being done to develop effective vaccines against a range of food and water borne pathogens.
Emerging infectious diseases have become a dominant public issue over the past two decades and approximately 79% of emerging diseases are zoonotic in nature.
Speaking at the annual “Science for Life” lecture organised and hosted by Moredun Research Institute in Edinburgh, Andrew Potter from the Vaccine and Infectious Disease Organization – International Vaccine Centre (VIDO-InterVac) in Canada discussed some of the research being done to develop effective vaccines against a range of food and water borne pathogens.
Dr Potter looked to highlight how vaccination has proven over the years to be the most cost effective method to mitigate the risks associated with infectious diseases and explain how its application to many zoonotic pathogens requires an approach that will limit colonisation rather than disease.
E coli, Salmonella and Campylobacter were just three of the pathogens that Dr Potter spoke about controlling through vaccination – particularly topical with Germany in the midst of a large E. coli outbreak that is reported to have resulted in the death of 22 people so far and left hospitals in the north of the country struggling to cope as nearly 2,000 people in Germany alone are thought to be infected.
The “Science for Life” lecture is an annual event organised in turn by each of the four Scottish Research Institutes, of which Moredun is one.
The subject of this year’s lecture is particularly topical as last month Moredun launched a new cooperative network to help tackle zoonotic infections and disease.
The CoZEE (Cooperative of zoonoses expertise and experience) network aims to bring together individuals and groups from academia, policy, government agencies, industry, veterinary and public health bodies to facilitate inter-disciplinary initiatives and innovative approaches to reduce the impact of zoonoses.