Agriculture, INTA and Senasa introduced the world’s first vaccine strain to combat bovine leukosis

The Minister of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries of the Nation, Juan José Bahillo, together with the heads of INTA, Mariano Garmendia, and Senasa, Diana Guillén, presented today the commercial approval of the genetically modified bovine leukosis virus, the use of which is expected to have the potential to to form the active principle of a vaccine to combat the disease in cattle.

“It is the first time that Argentina has deregulated a modified virus for direct use and received its clearance for commercial use. We are proud of this scientific achievement, which represents real progress in the eradication of bovine leukosis,” said Bahillo. about the biotechnological event, published in the Official Journal.

And he continued: “I want to save the budgetary investment policy in organizations that do research and consulting, like INTA and Senasa. Many professionals have worked, which is a pride for Argentina and this is what we want to highlight from the government, in order to strengthen its technological scientific development, which is a central axis to promote production”.

In the same vein, Garmendia expressed, “We bet on science and the sovereignty of knowledge, and we are not wrong,” adding, “This development fills us with pride, renews our commitment and invites us to believe in a great Argentina.” dream,” said Garmendia, who emphasized that it is a development with more than 15 years of work, which requires understanding the long path that research teams travel.

Meanwhile, Guillén said: “With this announcement, we value Argentine science, through a national development that emerges from a public policy. Together with the Senasa Secretariat and INTA, we will accompany the process for the vaccine registry.

For her part, the scientist responsible for the event and Director of the Institute of Virology at INTA, Karina Trono, explained: “This disease affects almost all dairy cows and their calves, and because it is so silent, the producer does not see it. That’s with biotechnology, we take part of the virus to turn a malignant strain into a more harmless strain than the original strain that isn’t contagious.”

The Ministry of Agriculture granted approval by the Undersecretary for Food, Bioeconomy and Regional Development according to the procedures to be implemented by the National Directorate for Bioeconomy, which has primary responsibility for the procedure.

The regulations stipulate that the analysis of the impact on production and marketing that could result from the commercial authorization of genetically modified plant organisms (OVGM) for agricultural use is the responsibility of the Agricultural Markets Directorate.

During the presentation they were also present, the head of the Agriculture Cabinet, Juan Manuel Fernández Arocena; the Undersecretaries of State for Food, Bioeconomy and Territorial Development, Luis Contigiani; for Policy Coordination, Ariel Martinez; Livestock, José María Romero; Agriculture, Delfo Buchaillot; the national director for bioeconomy, Dalia Lewi, and other officials.

effects of the disease
More than 80% of dairy farms in Argentina, countries in Latin America and the Caribbean, North America, Eastern Europe and Asia are infected with Bovine Leukosis Virus (BLV).

Every year 10% of infected animals die. This negatively impacts the milk production system and causes a lost profit of approximately $5,300 per dead cow affected, according to a 2014 economic impact study conducted by INTA.

For the development of INTA
It is a prophylactic system using an attenuated virus strain called BLV DX 6073; INTA has been collaborating with the University of Liège (Belgium) since 2008.
It was developed through genetic modification of the circulating natural strain and can be incorporated into the process of making a vaccine.

By genetically modifying the strain, the virus’ contagiousness and ability to cause tumors was reduced.

BLV DX 6073 strain has estimated potential use as a bovine vaccine in Argentina, Latin America and the Caribbean countries, North America and Asia where enzootic bovine leukosis is endemic.

It is able to induce an anti-BLV immune response comparable to a wild-type immune response.

It did not spread to uninfected Sentinels kept in the same herd for long periods of time. In turn, it caused the passive transmission of antibodies to newborn calves through the maternal colostrum, demonstrating the persistence of passive antiviral immunity.

To access Regulation 1/2022 published in the Official Journal, enter here

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