Blairo Maggi is to take to Cosalfa strategy of withdrawal of vaccination against foot-and-mouth disease in Brazil

february 16 2017

Minister Blairo Maggi (Agriculture, Livestock and Food Supply), will announce at the meeting of the South American Commission for the Fight against Foot-and-Mouth Disease (Cosalfa) 2017, the schedule for the change of the vaccine against foot-and-mouth disease and further details of the gradual withdrawal of vaccination in the country, with the presentation of the actions that will be adopted for this. The meeting of Cosalfa will be held between April 3 and 7, in Pirenópolis (GO). Mapa works with the possibility of withdrawing vaccination of 80 million heads as of November 2018.

The director of the Department of Animal Health of the ministry, Guilherme Marques, points out that "the meeting will be a watershed due to the signal that Brazil will give that it is possible to withdraw vaccination and that other neighboring countries use the strategy, provided they have sanitary condition for that. " In addition to Brazil, Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Suriname, Venezuela and Uruguay are members of the Commission.

On Tuesday, Guilherme Marques met with representatives of vaccine manufacturers and members of the ministry's areas related to the issue, that is livestock inputs (Department of Livestock Inspection, DFIP) and laboratories (General Coordination of Agricultural and Livestock Laboratories , Cegal), to receive suggestions on how to make a change in the type of vaccine and on compatible timelines for gradual withdrawal of vaccination.

According to director Guilherme Marques, "the withdrawal of vaccination is decided, what is needed now is to define how and when it will be carried out. And for that, meetings will be held in the country with all members of the production chain.There will be no surprises, everything will be done in an organized and technically defensible way, respecting also the sanitary situation of the states," he said.

Marques explained that, first the vaccine will be modified, as the "C" (inactivated) virus will be removed from the composition of the product, once the virus was eradicated more than 13 years ago in the region, and immunization is no longer necessary. Removal of C virus is possible and feasible in the evaluation of the department director. The product is currently trivalent and protects the herd from A, C and O viruses. In 2018, the product will be bivalent containing strains A and O. The product dose should also decrease from 5 ml to 2 ml, without losing quality and with the antigens (substance that causes the production of antibodies, activating the system of defense of the organism) necessary for the maintenance of the eradication of the disease. He emphasizes that every stock of the trivalent may be fully used.

"We are in a very comfortable position, both due to the lack of circulation of foot-and-mouth disease virus in the country and region (countries that are part of the Commission), regarding the high immunological response of our herds, which allows changes in the vaccine, besides the gradual withdrawal of the product, " the director added.

With the new vaccine, Marques predicts a reduction in the cost of transportation, storage and conservation of doses, both in the manufacturing and distribution process, as well as in marketing. It will also be less expensive with handling on the properties and less reactions in the animals, such as possible lumps in the leather, which can cause loss of up to 2 kg in the toilet (preparation of cuts).

Ministério da Agricultura, Pecuária e Abastecimento