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Chicken Vaccines Combine To Create Deadly Virus

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Stephanie Scoundrel
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July 13, 2012, 8:08 pm


Australian scientists have found that two different vaccines used to control an infectious disease in chickens can recombine to create new lethal virus strains.

The research, to be published today in the journal Science, has prompted authorities to review vaccine use in animals.

But the scientists, from the University of Melbourne, say the findings are not only important for vaccines in chickens, but also for any vaccine which might be able to multiply - including those used in humans.

Chicken respiratory virus ILT can lead to birds dying in a pool of bloody mucus, but vaccines that were meant to protect them have instead led to their deaths.

Dr Joanne Devlin, a lecturer in Veterinary Public Health-Epidemiology at the Asia-Pacific Centre for Animal Health, says the deaths were caused when two vaccines used to treat the virus combined.

"These new strains were formed by recombination from the different vaccine strains and that they were actually more virulent than the vaccine strains that gave rise to them," she said.

"This is something we've never before seen before in the field."

Live vaccines, where a weaker version of the virus is introduced to allow the immune system to build up its own defences, are quite commonly used for animals and humans, and include polio, measles, mumps, rubella, chicken pox and rabies.

The Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority is now consulting with industry to control the use of these vaccines.

'Wider implications'

Co-researcher Professor Glenn Browning says other creatures could also be under threat of vaccines combining.

"We suspect that this sort of event could potentially happen in other animal species as well and with other viruses in addition to infectious laryngotracheitis virus," he said.

"So we believe that what we've seen here has potentially go-wider implications than just this particular disease in poultry."



http://au.news.yahoo.com/a/-/newshome/14223986/chicken-vaccines-combine-to-create-deadly-virus/

Spot of Borg User avatar
The Borg
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I am surprised it took this long for that to happen. How many vaccines do we combine in ppl all the time? IMO we have just been lucky so far.

Spot
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Chard User avatar
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And people wonder why I'm much, much more frightened by biological weapons than I am of nuclear weapons...

Ask me why, I dare ya.
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Spot of Borg User avatar
The Borg
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Okay. Why?

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Chard User avatar
The Emperor's Champion
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Spot of Borg wrote:
Okay. Why?


For starters, most viral and bacteriological agents that can harm humans (or animals in general) take time before obvious symptoms of an infection are apparent. For example, influenza can take anywhere from several days to a few weeks to present symptoms after initial infection. This means it's really damn hard to halt the spread of an infection since by the time you notice it the agent has already infected a large population. You don't have that problem with nuclear weapons since they work mostly by destroying things with thermal energy and blast over-pressure, both of which are fairly short lived phenomena.

The other problem is biological can mutate, so if you do find a cure for whatever man-made bug is making your population sick there's a good chance that it could have split into multiple new strains that your cure might not be effective against. Again, influenza is a perfect example of this as every year influenza outbreaks happen involving completely new forms of the virus, which is the reason why flu vaccines tend to be a cocktail of several vaccines that proved effective against past influenza strains. Basically every time you go get a flu shot you're taking a crap shoot on if the stuff will work or not, but then some chance is better than no chance.

Biological warfare is scary as hell simply because there's no way to effective fight against it and its all to easy for a biological weapon to move outside of the target population and back to your own population. You don't have those problems with nuclear weapons. Just light the fuse, stand well clear, and wait for the loud bangs and flashes of light to be over with and things are pretty much over and done. Viral and bacteriological agents could persist for years or even decades with reinfecting people before they go away, assuming they ever do go away at all.
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DCRocks User avatar
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Chard wrote:
And people wonder why I'm much, much more frightened by biological weapons than I am of nuclear weapons...


Agreed, but then, living at ground Zero for so long (What DC was called before 9/11), never really worried by nukes, as I would be dust and not have to worry.
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