Research Team Manager: Dr Otto Koekemoer; Tel: +27-12-529 9441/416; Fax: +27-12-529 9310
Over the years vaccination has proven to be an eminently successful means of controlling animal diseases. However, despite successes in the control and stamping-out of diseases, traditional veterinary vaccines do not always protect efficiently. Additionally, they are often expensive to produce or their effective use may require involved and often impractical immunisation schedules. The Vaccines and Diagnostics Development Programme (VDDP) attempts where possible to use a rational approach based on fundamental knowledge of the target's interactions with the immune system to develop a new generation of veterinary vaccines based not on the whole organism, but on its antigenically important components. We also focus on developing new reagents and methods for nucleic acid based tests and several immunoassays, together with the identification of antigens or epitopes that might also be useful as diagnostic targets. In this way, we contribute to the ARC's mission of promoting animal health by means of technology development aimed at the prevention and control of animal diseases. The Programme's outputs are provided by the collective activities of a number of individual units or laboratories, each of which has its own focus area.
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