Innovative E.coli vaccine granted conditional US approval

A Canadian-made cattle vaccine against a deadly form of e.coli has been given a conditional licence for sale by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).

Developed in Canada and already conditionally approved for sale in this country, this vaccine is the first that can be used on-farm to reduce the shedding of e.coli 0157:H7 bacteria by cattle.

It is this strain of e.coli that is responsible for thousands of food and water-related illnesses and deaths across Canada and the United States every year. It is also this strain of e.coli that caused the Walkerton tragedy, where seven people died and hundreds became sick after the town’s water supply became contaminated.

According to Bioniche Life Sciences Inc., the Belleville ON company producing the vaccine, the conditional US licence is contingent on the company developing a plan to collect enough data for the vaccine to move towards full approval.

The vaccine is undergoing a separate approval process with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, which has provided conditional approval for Canadian cattle owners to buy the vaccine through their veterinarians. It was originally developed through a partnership between University of British Columbia, the Alberta Research Council and the University of Saskatchewan.

For more information on the vaccine or e.coli, visit Bioniche Life Sciences Inc. or www.fightecoli.com.

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