The equine Hendra virus vaccine remains a highly effective preventative measure against infection in horses and humans: 'The imperative to develop a human vaccine for the Hendra virus in Australia'

Peel, Alison J., Field, Hume E., Reid, Peter A., Plowright, Raina K., Broder, Christopher C., Skerratt, Lee F., Hayman, David T.S., Restif, Olivier, Taylor, Melanie, Martin, Gerardo, Crameri, Gary, Smith, Ina, Baker, Michelle, Marsh, Glenn A., Barr, Jennifer, Breed, Andrew C., Wood, James L.N., Dhand, Navneet, Toribio, Jenny-Ann, Cunningham, Andrew, Fulton, Ian, Bryden, Wayne L., Secombe, Cristy, and Wang, Lin-Fa (2016) The equine Hendra virus vaccine remains a highly effective preventative measure against infection in horses and humans: 'The imperative to develop a human vaccine for the Hendra virus in Australia'. Infection Ecology & Epidemiology, 6.

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Abstract

[Extract] To the Editor

In their commentary article, 'The imperative to develop a human vaccine for the Hendra virus in Australia', Zahoor and Mudie (1)argue the case for a human Hendra virus (HeV) vaccine. The statements supporting their arguments are incorrect and have the potential to cause confusion and ultimately undermine confidence in current evidence-based risk management strategies, thereby placing equine and human lives at risk.

The central argument in Zahoor and Mudie (1) is that HeV is 'rapidly mutating', with consequent loss of efficacy of the equine HeV vaccine, changing clinical syndromes in humans, and infection in new animal species. There is no scientific basis to their central argument. Zahoor and Mudie (1) offer no citations to support their statements regarding the mutation rate of HeV. Indeed, primary research indicates the HeV genome has minimal variability (less than 1% at both the nucleotide and amino acid levels) in both flying-foxes and horses and is highly stable (the same variant has been detected at disparate locations at the same time, and over periods of at least 12 years) (2, 3).

Item ID: 51272
Item Type: Article (Commentary)
ISSN: 2000-8686
Date Deposited: 02 Nov 2017 00:34
FoR Codes: 07 AGRICULTURAL AND VETERINARY SCIENCES > 0707 Veterinary Sciences > 070704 Veterinary Epidemiology @ 100%
SEO Codes: 83 ANIMAL PRODUCTION AND ANIMAL PRIMARY PRODUCTS > 8303 Livestock Raising > 830306 Horses @ 50%
92 HEALTH > 9204 Public Health (excl. Specific Population Health) > 920412 Preventive Medicine @ 50%
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