Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Needle-free vaccination

Lateral transmission of blood-borne diseases can occur when a single needle is used repeatedly to vaccinate livestock. Needle-free technology to vaccinate sheep without damaging the carcass, causing lesions, or leaving needle fragments, and eliciting a similar antibody response as traditional needle vaccinations, has been hampered due to variable wool length.

Image by Pulse NeedleFree SystemsUSDA researchers evaluated vaccine delivery, injection time, and antibody response for a prototype pneumatically powered, needle-free injector and for traditional needle injections.

Results of the study indicated that a pneumatic, needle-free injector can be used to elicit the same antibody response in sheep as a needle injection, and the pneumatic, needle-free injector was faster.

The pneumatic, needle-free injector also would be expected to reduce lateral transmission of blood-borne diseases, and will save time, eliminate biohazard waste (e.g., used needles), and eliminate accidental needle sticks for livestock handlers when vaccinating sheep.

Source: Technical Note, Journal of Animal Science, June 2008.