CSIRO develops vaccine for Hendra Virus

Thoroughbred Breeders Queensland president Basil Nolan has hailed the breakthrough in developing a vaccine for Hendra Virus as a lifesaver for horses and humans.

CSIRO scientists in Geelong have developed a vaccine for the lethal virus.  It could be available as soon as 2012 if field trials progress as expected.

The CSIRO Australian Animal Health Laboratory (AAHL) in Geelong is on the front line helping to protect Australia from the threat of exotic and emerging animal diseases.

“Hendra is a death sentence not only for horses but their owners,” Nolan said on Wednesday.  “The TBQA had to fight hard to get this research underway and it’s fantastic news for the industry.”

There have been a total of 14 outbreaks of Hendra Virus since 1994 resulting in four deaths, most recently Rockhampton vet Dr Alister Rodgers.

Following the latest outbreak, the TBQA and its federal counterpart strongly lobbied the Queensland and Federal Governments for funding for research into a vaccine.