Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Eating 'Ouch-less' Vaccines Protects Prairie Dogs In The Lab Against Plague

Date:
August 5, 2009
Source:
United States Geological Survey
Summary:
A new oral vaccine against sylvatic plague is showing significant promise in the laboratory as a way to protect prairie dogs and may eventually protect endangered black-footed ferrets who now get the disease by eating infected prairie dogs, according to new results. Sylvatic plague is an infectious bacterial disease usually transmitted from animal to animal by fleas.

A new oral vaccine against sylvatic plague is showing significant promise in the laboratory as a way to protect prairie dogs and may eventually protect endangered black-footed ferrets who now get the disease by eating infected prairie dogs, according to results by a USGS researcher at the USGS National Wildlife Health Center. Sylvatic plague is an infectious bacterial disease usually transmitted from animal to animal by fleas.

This exotic disease is usually deadly for black-footed ferrets and their primary prey, prairie dogs, resulting in local extinctions or regional population reductions. Along with other wild rodents, prairie dogs are also considered a significant reservoir of plague for other wildlife, domestic animals, and people in the western U.S. Prevention of plague in wild rodents by immunization could reduce outbreaks of the disease in animals, thereby reducing the risk for human exposure to the disease.

USGS scientists offered plague vaccine in food for voluntary consumption by 16 black-tailed prairie dogs. They also injected a plague vaccine into 12 other prairie dogs and then studied how much protection against plague the two kinds of vaccines offered. USGS researcher Dr. Tonie Rocke, the lead researcher of the project, found that the prairie dogs that "ate" their vaccine were better protected from the disease than the ones who were injected with a vaccine. These results, said Rocke, demonstrate that oral immunization of prairie dogs against plague provides significant protection from the disease, at least in the laboratory.

Black-footed ferrets, of course, are one of the rarest mammals in North America. An oral vaccine, said Rocke, could be put into bait and delivered into the field without having to handle any animals, a process that is time-consuming, costly, and sometimes stressful for the animals. The same bacterium that affects ferrets, prairie dogs, and other rodents, is also responsible for human cases of plague.

This research was presented at the 58th annual meeting of the Wildlife Disease Association (WDA) held on August 2-7, 2009, in Blaine, Wash.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by United States Geological Survey. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

United States Geological Survey. "Eating 'Ouch-less' Vaccines Protects Prairie Dogs In The Lab Against Plague." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 5 August 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/08/090803205828.htm>.
United States Geological Survey. (2009, August 5). Eating 'Ouch-less' Vaccines Protects Prairie Dogs In The Lab Against Plague. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 16, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/08/090803205828.htm
United States Geological Survey. "Eating 'Ouch-less' Vaccines Protects Prairie Dogs In The Lab Against Plague." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/08/090803205828.htm (accessed April 16, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Change of Diet Helps Crocodile Business

Change of Diet Helps Crocodile Business

Reuters - Business Video Online (Apr. 16, 2014) Crocodile farming has been a challenge in Zimbabwe in recent years do the economic collapse and the financial crisis. But as Ciara Sutton reports one of Europe's biggest suppliers of skins to the luxury market has come up with an unusual survival strategy - vegetarian food. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2014) A new study conducted by researchers at Northwestern and Harvard suggests even casual marijuana use can alter your brain. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Couples Who Sleep Less Than An Inch Apart Might Be Happiest

Couples Who Sleep Less Than An Inch Apart Might Be Happiest

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2014) A new study by British researchers suggests couples' sleeping positions might reflect their happiness. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Passengers Abuzz After Plane Hits Swarm of Bees

Passengers Abuzz After Plane Hits Swarm of Bees

AP (Apr. 16, 2014) An Allegiant Airlines plane from Las Vegas to Duluth, Minnesota turned around shortly after take-off, after a swarm of bees clouded the windshield and got sucked into the engines. (April 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins