August 31, 2023


Kansas State University awarded grant to enhance cattle vaccines against respiratory viruses



Kansas State University has secured a new grant aimed at advancing the development of enhanced vaccines designed to safeguard cattle against a range of bovine parainfluenza 3 virus (BPI3V) and bovine viral diarrhoea virus (BVDV) strains through mucosal immunisation, National Hog Farmer reported.


The project will be spearheaded by Waithaka Mwangi, professor of diagnostic medicine and pathobiology in the College of Veterinary Medicine.


Mwangi highlighted the current limitations of existing BPI3V and BVDV vaccines. While the present BPI3Va vaccine exhibits efficacy against certain BPI3V strains, it falls short in providing comprehensive protection across all variants. Similarly, BVDV vaccines face challenges owing to immunosuppressive attributes and the vaccine virus's inability to confer broad protection.


These pathogens hold considerable responsibility for instigating the bovine respiratory disease complex, a condition that results in severe pneumonia and calf mortality. Mwangi emphasised the urgent requirement for more robust vaccines capable of conferring broad-spectrum protection against the diverse spectrum of BPI3V and BVDV strains. Such advancements could significantly bolster cattle productivity and welfare.


Combined with another project led by Juergen Richt, regents distinguished professor and university distinguished professor in diagnostic medicine and pathobiology, to develop an African swine fever vaccine with rationally designed and engineered virus-vectored subunit vaccine candidates, the grants exceed US$1.2 million and are funded for a three-year period by the National Institute of Food and Agriculture through its Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI).


-      National Hog Farmer

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