Development of new bovine tuberculosis vaccine underway

L to R: Dr Dairu Shu, Dr Bryce Buddle and Tania Wilson

Development is underway for a new bovine tuberculosis (TB) vaccine that is effective, economical and compatible with current TB testing methods. A suitable vaccine must also be acceptable to our export markets and not affect meat quality.

The current BCG vaccine is problematic in that it often leads to false positive results in diagnostic skin tests for TB. While more specific blood tests can be used to prevent these false positives, these add expense.

The current research will eventually produce the potential for novel vaccines and diagnostic tests to be manufactured and sold to overseas markets.

Funding provided by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) has also enabled them to work on developing other tools such as a new skin test and an investigation of diagnosing bovine TB from pooled milk samples using an antibody test.