Since South Africa's livestock herds are especially susceptible to the many pathogens which are endemic to the region, vaccine research and development has been a priority at Onderstepoort for over a century. Most of the vaccines which made livestock farming successful in this country were developed using traditional methods such as the attenuation of pathogens by passage in cell culture or the selection of mild strains. While these vaccines and the approach used to develop them are generally still valid and in use, our understanding of the immune system and its response to antigenic challenge has improved greatly. The international trend is to move away from empiricism in vaccine development towards rationally designed, more defined and hence safer vaccines. With the application of fundamental advances in reverse genetics and DNA-based and modified virus vaccines we are developing a new generation of improved veterinary vaccines which will ultimately render many of the current vaccines and the way in which they are produced obsolete.
African Swine Fever
Vaccine Developmentand Cellular Immunology
Foot and Mouth Disease
Viral Vectors and
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