Barrier Vaccination for Foot-and-Mouth Disease (Disease Investigation & Control - Treatment and Care)

Summary Information
Type of technique Health & Management / Disease Investigation & Control / Treatment & Care / Techniques:
Synonyms and Keywords
  • Frontier vaccination
  • Immune belt vaccination
Description "the vaccination of all susceptible animals in a buffer zone to prevent foot-and-mouth disease spreading from one area to another." (D36.Para120).
  • Depending on the circumstances, monovalent or polyvalent vaccines may be used. (D36.Para120).
  • Barrier vaccination is usually used along a political or geographical boundary.
  • All susceptible animals in the buffer zone should be vaccinated, including sheep (B217.38.w38).
Appropriate Use (?)
  • To protect a region of a country or continent which is FMD-free against introduction of the disease by spread from a neighbouring region.
  • When used to prevent the spread of FMD from one country to another, barrier vaccination may also be described as frontier vaccination (B211).
  • Barrier vaccination has been used successfully in the past to reduce spread of FMD into Europe, by vaccinating livestock in countries such as Greece, Turkey and Bulgaria (J3.102.w10).
Complications/ Limitations / Risk
  • Ineffective against exotic strains not included in vaccines.
  • Some animals may be in the early incubation stages of FMD at the time when they are vaccinated, and a small proportion may become carriers (D36.Para124). Ruminants, including cattle, with or without developing clinical disease, and including animals which have been vaccinated and then been in contact with live FMD virus may carry live FMD virus in the pharynx, for up to three years (cattle), nine months (sheep), less than nine months (goats). (J42.118.w1). However, good-quality vaccines, if given a sufficient length of time prior to exposure to live virus, may reduce the incidence of the development of the carrier state in vaccinated animals (W18.Apl01.sib1). There is no evidence that vaccinated animals, even if they become carriers, cause infection in susceptible animals.
    • "follow-up outbreaks, caused by the presence of vaccinated carrier animals, have never been observed." (P5.40S.w2).
  • Economic considerations:
    • Immediate costs associated with vaccination (D35.w2).
    • Extended loss of export trade from the vaccinated zone, due to export restrictions on seropositive animals, related to the problems of identifying carriers (J3.131.w1).
    • Need to ensure vaccinated animals were not moved outside the vaccinated zone except under special licence.(J3.131.w1).
    • "Possible generation of a surplus of meat" (J3.131.w1).
    • "There are no fully validated serological tests to distinguish between antibody produced by vaccination and that resulting from recovery from infection."  (J42.118.w1).
  • Safety considerations:
    • Risk of stress, particularly to highly pregnant animals, during gathering and handling for vaccination (D36.Para200).
    • Hazards to both animals and humans in trying to gather animals in inclement weather such as fog or snow (D36.Para200).
Equipment / Chemicals required and Suppliers
  • Appropriate vaccines for the virus strains in the area.
Expertise level / Ease of Use
  • Use of vaccines does not require special expertise.
Cost/ Availability
  • Vaccines are generally available from commercial suppliers, or in the face of an outbreak from emergency vaccine banks.
Legal and Ethical Considerations The use of ring vaccination may be restricted legally within a region or country.
Author Debra Bourne
Referee Suzanne I Boardman

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