Oral vaccines are being developed to protect animals from various diseases. An oral rabies vaccine is already available which is used to vaccinate wildlife (the vaccine is placed into various types of bait). Human polio vaccine was developed into an oral form years ago. Prodigene, a company in College Station, Texas, is developing a technology which can be used to develop many oral vaccines for use in animals. The first vaccines produced with this new technology are being tested in swine.
Comments from our Veterinary Staff:
This is an exciting technology which may influence vaccination programs in years to come. These vaccines would be valuable for vaccinating wildlife for diseases other than rabies, and for vaccinating large groups of animals such as herds of cows. The advantages of ease and decreased cost of administration would be especially important for developing countries who have limited human and animal health care resources.