AgResults’ Brucellosis Vaccine Development Pilot Manager, GALVmed spoke to Dr. Sascha Al Dahouk about the ways Brucellosis can impact the food chain across the developing world. Dr. Al Dahouk is the Scientific Director of the German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment in Berlin and Professor of Internal Medicine at the RWTH Aachen University.
“It is very easy to transfer Brucellosis from livestock to humans via the food chain,” Dr. Al Dahouk explained in the interview. “If you take unpasteurized milk, or unpasteurized cheese from goats which are affected by Brucellosis, and people eat the milk or cheese, there is a very high incidence rate to get the disease.”
Brucellosis causes abortions, infertility, and other issues in livestock and is the most common zoonotic disease, with approximately 500,000 new human cases reported each year. It remains endemic in a number of developing countries with the impact to smallholder farmers across Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia estimated at US $500 million per year.
In order to combat this, AgResults launched a US $30 million prize to incentivize animal health and other private sector companies to develop a safe and efficacious vaccine for Brucella melitensis in small ruminants across the developing world.
“This competition is a great idea because this will push the idea of an ideal vaccine for a different species which is safe for people and livestock. And if you stop Brucellosis in livestock, then you stop it in humans.”
For more information on the Brucellosis Vaccine Development Prize and to apply, visit: www.brucellosisvaccine.org