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Bluetongue Disease: Vaccination

Volume 488: debated on Friday 27 February 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how much his Department has spent on research into a vaccine for (a) BVT1, (b) BVT8, (c) BVT6 and (d) all other strains of bluetongue disease in each of the last six years. (257428)

The research, development and production of bluetongue vaccine is a commercial proposition and there are a number of private companies involved in the development, production and sale of vaccine. Although Government do not actively fund work specifically on development of vaccines, significant funding on bluetongue research in recent years has provided a fundamental science base that contributes to and underpins the use of vaccines in disease control. This research, which includes work to understand the molecular basis of infection and protection from bluetongue, is published and made available to the wider scientific community.

It is, therefore, not possible to state an exact figure that has contributed directly to vaccine development, but the overall Bluetongue Virus (BTV) research spend, of which some has been spent on molecular research over the last six years, has been:

Bluetongue (£ million)

2003-04

0.34

2004-05

0.45

2005-06

0.55

2006-07

0.63

2007-08

0.71

2008-09

10.73

1 Estimated

DEFRA continues to engage with experts and manufacturers on the issue of vaccine development and authorisation for other serotypes.