Developing transmissible vaccines for animal infections

By: , and 



Many emerging and reemerging pathogens originate from wildlife, but nearly all wild species are unreachable using conventional vaccination, which requires capture of and vaccine administration to individual animals. By enabling immunization at scales sufficient to interrupt pathogen transmission, transmissible vaccines (TVs) that spread themselves through wildlife populations by infectious processes could potentially transform the management of otherwise intractable challenges to public health, wildlife conservation, and animal welfare. However, generating TVs likely requires modifying viruses that would be intended to spread in nature, which raises concerns ranging from technical feasibility, to safety and security risks, to regulatory uncertainties (1, 2). We propose a series of commitments and strategies for vaccine development—beginning with a priori decisions on vaccine design and continuing through to stakeholder codevelopment [see supplementary materials (SM)]—that we believe increase the likelihood that the potential risks of vaccine transmission are outweighed by benefits to conservation, animal welfare, and zoonosis prevention.
Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Developing transmissible vaccines for animal infections
Series title Science
DOI 10.1126/science.adn3231
Volume 384
Issue 6693
Year Published 2024
Language English
Publisher AAAS
Contributing office(s) National Wildlife Health Center
Description 3 p.
First page 275
Last page 277
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