Coronavirus kills mink. They may be vaccinated.

At least two American companies and Russian researchers are working on mink coronavirus vaccines. Animals became ill, were killed in large numbers by the virus, and returned to people in mutated form.

Zoetis, a leading New Jersey veterinary pharmaceutical company with annual sales of more than $ 6 billion in 2019, and Medgene Labs, a small company with about 35 employees based in South Dakota, are both mink. I am testing the vaccine at. They are seeking a product license from the US Department of Agriculture.

The two companies said the vaccine technology was generally similar to that used by Novobax for human vaccines, which is a late-stage study. The system involves causing insect cells to produce peplomer proteins on the coronavirus, which then enter the body’s cells and attach to harmless viruses that train the immune system to make it genuinely ready. ..

Mink is known to be infected with the pandemic virus SARS-CoV-2 in half a dozen countries around the world.

All members of the Mustelidae are susceptible to infection, develop some symptoms, and at least infect other species of the species with the virus. This is partly due to the proteins on the surface of the cells and the structure of the respiratory system. Scientists don’t know why mink in particular seems to be very ill, but the condition of crowded cages on farms can be exposed to more viruses.

The most serious outbreak occurred in Denmark. In Denmark, mink farming was stopped until at least 2022 due to mutations in the virus that occurred in infected mink.

Last fall, Denmark ordered the slaughter of up to 17 million animals. Most of the dead minks were not allowed to peel due to the fur trade. It sells up to 17 million furs a year, but there are concerns that last year’s decision could kill breeding resources and prevent the industry from recovering.

In contrast, in the United States, most of the approximately 275 small mink farms produce about 3 million furs annually, although Fur Commission USA thousands of US minks were infected and died, according to industry groups. , The state is addressing this issue and conducting quarantine. Some farms. As in Denmark, the Department of Agriculture was not involved and there was no order to kill mink populations.

Still, mink infections in the United States pose a threat to public health. At least two minks that escaped the farm tested positive. And one wild mink was positive. Scientists say that as the virus spreads to more wild mink and other animals, it can settle in natural populations, appear in possibly mutated forms, and reinfect humans at other times. I’m worried.

So far, the mutations observed in Danish mink have not proven to be a problem. However, mutations in infected human viruses have produced at least two more infectious variants. Allowing the second species, mink, to function as another breeding ground for the virus increases the likelihood of mutation and escape to other animals. As a result, mink vaccines have the potential to have cross-industry value. Also, the Department of Agriculture is not currently considering applying vaccines for cats and dogs, which may be being considered by businesses.

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Answers to vaccine questions

The exact order of vaccinated people may vary from state to state, but in most cases healthcare professionals and caregiver residents are the top priority. This article is useful if you want to understand how this decision is made.

Life will return to normal only if society as a whole has adequate protection against the coronavirus. Once the country has approved the vaccine, only a few percent of the population will be vaccinated in the first few months. The majority of unvaccinated people remain vulnerable to infection. More and more coronavirus vaccines show strong protection against getting sick. However, the virus can spread without knowing that it is infected, as it has only mild or no symptoms. Scientists still don’t know if the vaccine will also block the infection with the coronavirus. Therefore, for the time being, even vaccinated people should wear masks and avoid indoor congestion. Once a sufficient number of people have been vaccinated, it becomes very difficult to find people who are susceptible to the coronavirus. Life may begin to approach normal by the fall of 2021, depending on how quickly we as a society reach that goal.

Yes, but not forever. Two vaccines that may be approved this month clearly protect people from illness caused by Covid-19. However, the clinical trials that produced these results were not designed to determine whether vaccinated people could spread the coronavirus without developing symptoms. It remains a possibility. We know that people who are naturally infected with the coronavirus can spread the coronavirus in the absence of coughing and other symptoms. As the vaccine is deployed, researchers will enthusiastically study this question. In the meantime, even vaccinated people need to think of themselves as possible spreaders.

Pfizer and BioNTech vaccines, like other common vaccines, are delivered in one shot in the arm. The injection is no different from what you got before. Tens of thousands of people have already been vaccinated and no one has reported serious health problems. However, some of them experience short-term discomfort, such as pain and flu-like symptoms that usually last for a day. After the second shot, you may need to plan for a break from work or school. These experiences are not fun, but they are good signs. These are the result of your own immune system encountering the vaccine and initiating a powerful response that provides long-term immunity.

No. Moderna and Pfizer vaccines use genetic molecules to stimulate the immune system. The molecule, known as mRNA, is eventually destroyed by the body. The mRNA is packaged in an oily foam that can fuse with the cell and slide the molecule into it. Cells use mRNA to make proteins from coronaviruses that can stimulate the immune system. At any given time, each of our cells can contain the hundreds of thousands of mRNA molecules they produce to make their own proteins. When these proteins are made, our cells shred mRNA with a special enzyme. The mRNA molecules that our cells make can survive for only a few minutes. Vaccine mRNA is designed to withstand the cells’ enzymes a little longer, allowing the cells to make extra viral proteins and stimulate a stronger immune response. However, mRNA can last for at most a few days before it is destroyed.

Zoetis manufactures vaccines for many livestock and dogs and cats. For pets, we manufacture vaccines for infectious respiratory diseases in dogs and feline leukemia virus. The company began researching vaccinations for animals in February, when the pandemic began.

“When we saw the first case of a dog being infected in Hong Kong, we immediately took the usual steps to develop an emerging infectious disease vaccine,” said Mahesh, senior vice president of global biologics at Zoetis. Kumar says. “We decided to prepare a vaccine for dogs and cats.”

However, when news of the mink infection was reported, the company contacted the USDA and obtained permission to test the vaccine in mink. So far, the journey from testing to approval of other vaccines has taken months.

Dr. Kumar pointed out that veterinary coronavirus vaccines such as infectious bronchitis in birds are common. The disease was first identified in the 1930s and many companies manufacture vaccines.

An early small company, Medgene, began working on animal coronavirus vaccine technology in response to the porcine epidemic diarrhea virus, a devastating disease that struck pigs in China in 2013. As soon as last year’s pandemic news was reported, the coronavirus was identified and its genetic sequence was explained, the company’s CEO, Mark Rucke, said the team would “develop a vaccine suitable for animals.” Immediately started. “

The company didn’t know which animals were susceptible, so it began testing it in mice, as human vaccine developers would normally do. When mink turned out to be particularly vulnerable, the company contacted people in the mink industry and began testing for the virus. Luecke said it should be feasible to produce it this spring until he applies for a license.

Outside the United States, other researchers are also working on mink vaccines. Researchers in Russia and Finland are seeking animal vaccines that can be used on mink and other animals.

Coronavirus kills mink. They may be vaccinated.

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