Can vaccination reduce bovine TB in badgers?

Following a four-year study of 800 wild badgers in Gloucestershire, researchers from the Veterinary Laboratories Agency (VLA) and the Food and Environment Research Agency (FERA) have concluded that vaccination can significantly reduce bovine TB (bTB) levels in badgers.

In the study badgers were captured and injected with the BCG vaccine.  The key result was a 74% reduction in the proportion of badgers testing positive to the antibody bTB blood test.  The researchers concluded that the study showed a 'clear effect of vaccination on badger disease'.  However they went on to clarify that, as the blood test in not an absolute indicator of protection from disease, the results of the study did not reveal the degree of BadgerBCG vaccine efficiency.  Nor do they provide information on the effect of badger vaccination in reducing TB incidence in cattle.

Read more...