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More vaccine failures - Lethal poultry virus strains caused by gene-swapping vaccines

Monday, September 03, 2012 by: Ethan A. Huff, staff writer
Tags: vaccines, super viruses, mutant strains

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(NaturalNews) Live attenuated viruses (LAVs), which are increasingly being inserted into vaccines injected into both humans and animals, are fully capable of combining with each other to form deadly new mutant strains. These are the disturbing findings of a recent study published in the journal Science, which sheds new light on the extreme dangers associated with modern vaccine technologies.

Several years ago, researchers from the University of Melbourne (UM) in Australia set out to determine the source of two new virus strains that emerged in the Australian states of New South Wales and Victoria, which are responsible for killing thousands of commercial poultry birds. Never before had these particularly virulent virus strains been observed in factory fowl, and officials had been unable upon their discovery to figure out what prompted their emergence.

The UM team eventually investigated further and discovered that two different vaccines used to treat Infectious Laryngotracheitis (ILT), a respiratory infection that commonly afflicts factory-farmed chickens, had combined with one another to produce a "super-strain" of the virus that is roughly four times more deadly than the original virus. This process of virus recombination essentially spurred an unexpected mutation of the original virus into a far more deadly super-virus, which was previously not believed to be possible.

"What we found was the field viruses ... were actually a mixture of the genomes from different vaccine viruses. They actually combined, mixed together," said Joanne Devlin, lead author of the study. "Comparisons of the vaccine strains and the new recombinant strains have shown that both the recombinant strains cause more severe disease, or replicate to a higher level than the parent vaccine strains that gave rise to them."

Factory farming's dependence on vaccines creating 'super' viruses

For more than four decades, factory fowl producers in Australia have been administering a specific type of ILT vaccine derived from a single Australian virus strain. When they encountered a shortage of the vaccine produced from this strain back in 2006; however, these farmers were able to gain government permission to source another vaccine from Europe that was made from a different virus.

Eventually, birds that were injected with the original vaccine came into contact with birds that were injected with the European vaccine, an encounter that is believed to have triggered the unexpected crossover. Thousands of Australian birds have died as a result, this being the first known instance of a real-life virus recombination that resulted in a fatal virus mutation.

"The study suggests that regulation of live attenuated vaccines for all species needs to take into account the real potential for vaccine viruses to combine," added professor Glenn Browning from UM, who also worked on the study.

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