Diseases

The Vaccine Group (TVG) is using recombinant viral vector technology to develop new vaccines for use in animals to tackle diseases falling into two broad categories: Zoonotic diseases, and Economically important livestock diseases.

Zoonotic Diseases

A zoonosis is an infectious disease that has jumped from a non-human animal to humans. Zoonotic pathogens may be bacterial, viral or parasitic.

SARS CoV-2

Coronaviruses are a large family of human and animal viruses with some causing less severe disease, such as the common cold, and others causing more severe disease, such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS). (1)

COVID-19 is the disease caused by SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus that emerged in 2019 and caused a global human pandemic, affecting nearly every country in the world. (1)

It has caused millions of deaths and for some people can cause symptoms that last weeks or months after the infection has gone, sometimes referred to as ‘post-COVID-19 syndrome’ or ‘long COVID’. (2)

207 million+
Confirmed cases of COVID-19 globally. (3)

4.3 million+
Recorded deaths. (3)

$10.3 trillion
Estimated forgone GDP 2020 – 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. (4)

Lassa Fever

Lassa fever is an acute viral haemorrhagic illness of people caused by Lassa virus, with the primary reservoir host being Mastomys sp. rodents. (5)

Lassa fever is known to be endemic in Benin, Ghana, Guinea, Liberia, Mali, Sierra Leone, Togo and Nigeria, but probably exists in other West African countries as well. (5)

The overall case-fatality rate is 1%. Observed case-fatality rate among patients hospitalized with severe cases of Lassa fever is 15%. (5)

About 80% of people who become infected with Lassa virus have no symptoms. One in five infections result in severe disease, where the virus affects several organs such as the liver, spleen and kidneys. (5)

100,000 – 300,000
Number of infections of Lassa fever that occur annually. (6)

5,000
Approximate number of deaths annually. (6)

10-16%
Percentage of people admitted to hospitals in some parts of Sierra Leone and Liberia annually that have Lassa Fever. (6)

Ebola

Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) is a rare and deadly zoonotic disease in people and nonhuman primates, such as gorillas, chimpanzees and monkeys. (8)

Multiple known reservoir species including fruit bats, chimpanzees, gorillas, monkeys, forest antelope and porcupines. (7)

There are five known virus species, four of which can cause EVD in humans, and are primarily located in sub-Saharan Africa. (8)

The average EVD case fatality rate is around 50%. Case fatality rates have varied from 25% to 90% in past outbreaks. (7)

28,600+
Cases during the 2014-2016 Ebola epidemic (Suspected, probable & confirmed). (9)

11,300+
Recorded deaths. (9)

$4.3 billion
The amount committed by external donors to fight Ebola in Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia so far. (9)

Streptococcus suis

Streptococcus suis (S. suis) is a major bacterial pathogen that causes serious diseases in pigs, and is also an emerging zoonotic human pathogen which has the potential to cause severe disease in humans, such as meningitis and septicaemia. (10)

S. suis is also a reservoir for antimicrobial resistance genes which can be transferred horizontally to other human streptococcal pathogens such as S. pyogenes, S. pneumoniae and S. agalactiae. (11)

Bovine Tuberculosis

Bovine Tuberculosis (TB) is an infectious disease of cattle. It is caused by the bacterium Mycobacterium bovis (M. bovis) which can also infect and cause disease in many other mammals including humans, deer, goats, pigs, cats, dogs and badgers. In cattle, it is mainly a respiratory disease but clinical signs are rare.

TB in humans can be caused by both Mycobacterium bovis and the human form, Mycobacterium tuberculosis. (12)

£100 million
Annual costs for controlling bovine Tb in the UK (13)

27,000+
Cows slaughtered in the UK due to TB in 2020. (13)

Animal Health

E. coli Mastitis

Escherichia coli is the most prevalent environmental pathogen causing mastitis in dairy cows. E. coli is concentrated in organic matter such as bedding and manure, which are risk factors for infection in the udders. Following infection, the bacteria rapidly multiply in the mammary glands causing an influx of inflammatory cells, leading to severe local inflammation. (14)

30 cases per 100 cows
UK annual prevalence. (15)

Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome (PRRS)

Porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome (PRRS) is a widespread viral disease that affects domestic pigs. Symptoms include reproductive failure, pneumonia and increased susceptibility to secondary bacterial infection. (20)

$560 million
Annual economic impact of PRRS in the United States. (20)

References
20. OIE – PRRS

African Swine Fever

African swine fever virus (ASFV) causes severe disease in domestic pigs and wild boar with mortality rates as high as 100%. (16) There is currently no treatment or vaccine available and therefore biosecurity measures are essential to prevent an outbreak from spreading, especially as the disease is highly contagious.

The ASF virus is particularly difficult to make a safe and effective vaccine for, and currently no country has authorized any ASF vaccine. There are some unlicensed ASF vaccines  on the market , but there are concerns about their safety and efficacy. There is a potential risk of introducing novel strains of ASF virus through the use of poorly attenuated vaccines.

In 2019, ASF devastated Vietnam’s pig farming, with a total of nearly 6 million pigs culled (17) representing approximately 20% of the pig population and equating to roughly US $806,000.

100 million pigs
Lost in China as of July 2019 since ASF was introduced in 2018. (18)

$141 billion
Estimated economic losses in China by September 2019. (19)