In January, the EMA held a stakeholder focus group meeting on the availability of lumpy skin disease vaccines. The purpose of the meeting was to review the current scientific knowledge and regulatory environment for the development of lumpy skin disease vaccines. Alasdair King and John Atkinson attended, along with representatives from both regulatory and quality control departments.
MSD Animal Health participated in the FAO Regional Workshop on lumpy skin disease in March. The aim of this conference was to understand the epidemiology of lumpy skin disease, the detection of the infection, and for planning the protection against spread. Vaccination, together with vector control and animal transport measures, are important in this situation to develop eradication programmes for the EU. There was also an opportunity to work together in small workshops with the representatives of the affected countries in this region. Information about the standings of the LSD control programs from the country representatives were shared.
Alasdair King and John Atkinson travelled to Cambodia for the SEACFMD OIE sub-commission meeting. This is an important annual event bringing together the countries from the region as well as Australia, New Zealand, and the USA. Presentations from the World Reference Laboratory for FMD, Pirbright and the local OIE office described the current situation in South East Asia, including the spread of O/Ind2001d which has been reported in all countries other than Cambodia. There was some evidence of an increase of cases in a few countries but overall, the control and surveillance has continued to improve. Over the last five years, the region has made good advances in education and understanding of the disease.
In March, we had a paper on rabies published in Vaccine journal, “Rationale and support for a One Health program for canine vaccination as the most cost-effective means of controlling zoonotic rabies in endemic settings”. This is a review of the current situation with rabies control and provides key arguments and evidence for the use of canine vaccination for the elimination of human rabies. We call for a move from pilot studies to the use of full-scale programs involving collaboration between human public health and veterinary agencies.
eMergence now has a Twitter account. Through this, we will be providing live updates from conferences. In addition, we will post any major or significant disease outbreaks, giving us a timely route to allow quick notifications while this newsletter continues with the quarterly round-ups. Look for us @eMergence_MAH on Twitter