Design Biologix gets the green light for bluetongue vaccine

Estimated reading time: 2 minutes

Design Biologix has announced the registration of the bluetongue vaccine, BLU-VAX (G4534).

Design Biologix has been providing locally relevant vaccines and supporting products to the animal health industry for the past 29 years. In 2017, the company initiated a project to conduct epidemiological surveillance of the prevalent serotypes for the orbivirus that causes bluetongue disease in sheep in South Africa. This project led to the development of a locally relevant bluetongue vaccine called BLU-VAX (G4534).

“We would like to thank all sectors of the Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development (DALRRD) for supporting the emergency registration process of BLU-VAX (G4534) to enable us to be of service to the South African animal health industry. Their contribution played a significant role in the control of this devastating but preventable disease,” states a press release by the company.

Due to the emergency registration process, the evaluation of the vaccine has not been as extensive as it would have been under normal circumstances for Design Biologix’s product development. However, the company has committed to further vaccine evaluation post-registration, as well as epidemiological studies to continue evaluating the extent of the disease.

BLU-VAX (G4534) is an inactivated, adjuvanted polyvalent bluetongue virus (BTV) vaccine, formulated as an emulsion, for the active immunisation of healthy sheep against bluetongue disease. TV serotypes included in the formulation are serotypes 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 12, 13, 16, 17 and 24.

As with any new product, meticulous and extensive preparation is essential before a launch. The product will be available to vaccinate animals before the next summer rainfall season.

Read more about bluetongue.

Disastrous effects of shortage

The Red Meat Producers Organisation (RPO) has expressed concern about the shortage of strategic vaccines in the livestock and animal industries. This shortage has now caused a state of disaster in the red meat industry.

“Commercial and emerging producers are now suffering serious losses due to bluetongue outbreaks which cause up to 50% mortality among herds, and African horse sickness among horses and donkeys, which play a supporting role in the production process of red meat,” says James Faber, chairperson of the RPO.

“The RPO predicted that this would happen due to the shortage of supply of certain vaccines that have up until now, only been produced by Onderstepoort Biological Products (OBP).” – Compiled by Elmarie Helberg, AgriOrbit.

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