October 4, 2023

UK Approves E. coli 0157 Vaccine for Cattle

The Veterinary Medicines Directorate (VMC) of the Department for the Environment, Food, and Rural Affairs in the United Kingdom has approved the importation of Bioniche Life Sciences’s E. coli 0157 vaccine for use in cattle. ┬áThe vaccine will be used under conditions of a Special Treatment Certificate (STC).

Cows at Fair

The vaccine reduces E. coli 0157:H7 shedding in cattle. The bacteria live in cattle intestines and is shed in their feces. Dr. Chris Low, Director of One Health at the University of Edinburgh’s School of Veterinary Studies, said in a press release, “I am very pleased to see an STC issued for this application. On-farm vaccination is a logical preventative measure to reduce the risk of human exposure to E. coli 0157.”

“Farming and livestock agriculture are vital to feeding a growing global population,” Dr. Low added. “One Health focusses on the disease risks and challenges brought about by the interactions between animals, humans and the environment.” STCs are issued to veterinarians when a veterinary treatment isn’t available in the UK but is available in another country. Bioniche Life Sciences will pursue formal regulatory approvals in Europe, a process that can take a year. The drug, called Econiche, must meet the European Union’s Good Manufacturing Practices. The vaccine was approved in Canada in 2008, but has not yet been approved by the USDA.

The vaccine was studied at the Canada Agriculture Museum in Ottawa, Ontario over a four year period from 2007 to 2010. Cows received either two or three doses of the vaccine. (Another similar study was conducted this summer at Kansas State University on a Pfizer vaccine which does have USDA approval.) All of the animals, including young calves, responded to the vaccination against E. coli 0157 Type III secreted proteins.

E. coli 0157 causes severe illness in human beings and can be fatal. The infection can lead to hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), a complication that can destroy the kidneys. Other complications of an E. coli 0157 infection include diabetes, reactive arthritis, and hypertension. About 100,000 people are infected with the E. coli 0157 bacteria every year in North America; two to seven percent of those patients develop HUS.

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