Message Number: SG14395 | New FHL Archives Search
From: Danee
Date: 2005-06-18 18:54:18 UTC
Subject: Fwd: ADV Update - Part 7
To: "Ferret Health List" <>
Message-ID: <>

Permission to cross post the following information to other lists is
granted, as long as the post is taken in it entirety, with out any
changes or additions.

I am sure there are some people who think once a vaccine is developed,
that is the end of the story. In reality, it is just the beginning of a
new chapter.

UGA and other universities are not in the business of manufacturing and
selling vaccines. So, when one is developed, they will have to find a
drug company that is interested in buying the rights to it, or it will
never be produced and sold. Since drug companies are in the business of
making a profit, the only way they will be interested is if they feel
there is enough demand for the product to be profitable. Once again, it
comes back to public interest.

If there can be one vaccine that will fight against all the ADV strains,
there will be a larger potential customer base. Mink farmers already
vaccinate their mink against a number of diseases, including distemper
and mink viral enteritis. If it meant not having to worry about ADV,
the mink farmers would likely welcome a vaccine for that as well. Since
skunk fanciers view their skunks the same way we view our ferrets, I am
certain a vaccine would appeal to them also. Anyone who loves their
furry friends wants to protect them from diseases.

But, vaccines can=E2=80=99t always be created that will fight all strains o=
f a
virus. Take, for example, the influenza virus. It is a virus that
mutates quickly, and each year, the vaccine makers have to determine
which strains are most likely to pose a threat, and make the vaccine to
fight those strains. While the vaccine may pose some immunity for other
strains of the flu virus, the immunity might not be complete. This is
what might end up being true with ADV, too.

We have a similar situation with rabies. Again, there is more then one
strain. All mammals can get rabies, but there are certain strains that
certain mammals are more likely to get. As a result, there are
different rabies vaccines approved for different animals. It is also
important to remember that different species react to various vaccines
in different ways.

So, it is hard to say whether or not an ADV vaccine would be effective
against all of the different strains, and be safe to use on all of the
animals that are susceptible to ADV. Fortunately, though, ADV is a parvo
virus, and does not mutate quickly. So, at least there would not be the
problem of having to constantly change the vaccine to fight new strains.

At some point after the vaccine is developed, there will also have to be
trials run, to prove the vaccine is effective. These trials consist in
part of vaccinating one group of ferrets (or what ever animal the
vaccine is intended for), but not a second. All of the ferrets are then
be exposed to ADV, and it is noted how many ferrets in each group get
the virus. If the vaccine is effective, very few or none of the
vaccinated ferrets would become ADV+. I say very few, because no
vaccine is ever 100% effective.

The trials might be done at UGA, or at the drug company that buys the
rights to the vaccine. They will have to be done, though, before the
vaccine can get USDA approval.

Some of you who have had ferrets for many years may remember back when
there was no approved rabies vaccine for ferrets. It was thought that
Imrab would work, but trials had to be run to prove it was effective on
ferrets. And, running the trials is not an inexpensive venture. The
drug company was not interested in incurring the expense, when they
already had a market for Imrab with cats and dogs. It took several
years of heavy duty fundraising before we had enough money to have an
independent lab run the trials. In that case, Marshall Farms was very
helpful in getting the trials done, so it is possible they would help
with this as well.

Also, consider Galaxy-D. There is anecdotal evidence that Galaxy-D is
likely an effective vaccine for ferrets against canine distemper. But,
the vaccine does not have USDA approval for use in ferrets primarily
because the drug company has never run the trials on ferrets and does
not want to spend the money to run the trials and get it approved. In
the past, they have not felt that getting it approved for use on ferrets
would be cost effective.

Only after the vaccine has USDA approval will anyone be able to sell the
vaccine for use on our pets. So, as you can see, just developing the
vaccine is not the end of the story. There are still many steps after
that before the vaccine would be available for our use.

And, even if it is developed, it is unlikely any drug companies will be
interested in it unless they feel there is a profit to be made from it.
That is why we need to get as many ferret owners as possible to
support ADV research. By support, I do not mean just financially. Even
if you can not afford to make monetary donations, you can show your
support in other ways. One of the best ways to show support is by
spreading the word, and helping to educate those who do not understand ADV.=

-- =

International Ferret Congress Health Issues Coordinator
ADV - If your ferret hasn't been tested, you don't know!
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