mRNA-based vaccines can protect livestock against diseases that traditional vaccines don't - and there are safeguards in place to ensure they don't end up in their feed (2023)

While successful COVID-19 vaccines should have heralded the benefits of mRNA vaccines,fear and misinformationits supposed dangers circulated at the same time. These misconceptions about mRNA vaccines have recently evolved into concerns about whether their use in livestock could expose humans to vaccine products of animal originlike meat or milk.

In fact, many states are developing or considering legislation banning the use of mRNA vaccines in edible animals, or at the very least requiring them to be labeled on animal products in supermarkets.Idaho introduced a billthis would make it an offense to administer any type of mRNA vaccine to any person or mammal, including COVID-19 vaccines. ANDMissouri billwould require the labeling of animal products derived from animals that received mRNA vaccines, but it failed to get out of commission.ArizonaEUTennesseethey also proposed labeling projects.many others state legislaturesare discussing similar measures.

I amscientist who created vaccinesfor many years and began studying mRNA vaccines even before the start of the pandemic. My Usage ResearchmRNA vaccines against bovine respiratory viruseswas raised by social media users and anti-vaxcine activists who claim that using these vaccines in animals will endanger the health of the people who eat them.

But these vaccines have been shown to reduce disease on farms and it's nearly impossible for them to make it into food.

The traditional approach to animal vaccines

In edible animals,various types of vaccineshave long been available to farmers to protect their animals from common diseases. This includes inactivated vaccines that contain a killed version of the pathogen, live attenuated vaccines that contain a weakened version of the pathogen, and subunit vaccines that contain a part of the pathogen. All can provide a good level of protection against symptoms of disease and infection. The production of these vaccines isoften cheap.

However, each of these vaccineshas flaws.

Inactivated and subunit vaccines generally do not elicit a strong enough immune response, and pathogens can rapidly mutate into variants thatreduce the effectiveness of the vaccine. Attenuated pathogens in live attenuated vaccines are unlikelyturn backto its full pathogenic form or mixing with other circulating pathogens and becoming new vaccine resistant. To produce them, they also need to be grown in specific cell cultures, which can be time consuming.

(Video) How mRNA Vaccines Revolutionized Medicine | CNBC Marathon

also existsvarious pathogens– such as porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus, foot-and-mouth disease virus,influenza H5N1and African swine fever virus – for which the three traditional approaches have yet to produce an effective vaccine.

Another major disadvantage of the three types of vaccines is thattake timetest and obtain federal approval for its use. Animal vaccines are generally acceptedthree or more yearsfrom development to licensing by the US Department of Agriculture. If new viruses reach farms, it can take a long time for traditional vaccines to catch up to contain an outbreak.

Advantages of animal mRNA vaccines

All cells usemRNA that contains the instructionsto produce proteins needed to perform specific functions. The mRNA used in vaccines encodes instructions for making a protein of the pathogen of interest that immune cells learn to recognize and attack. This process buildsimmunological memorythus, when a pathogen carrying the same protein enters the body, the immune system will be ready for a quick and strong response against it.

Compared to traditional vaccines, mRNA vaccines have several advantages that make them ideal for protecting humans and animals against emerging and chronic diseases.

Unlike killed or subunit vaccines, mRNA vaccines increase the accumulation of vaccine proteins in cells over time and train the immune system using conditions that more closely resemble a viral infection. Like live attenuated vaccines, this process promotes the developmentstrong immune reactionswhich can build better protection. Unlike live attenuated viruses, mRNA vaccines cannot reverse pathogenicity or mix with circulating pathogens. Furthermore, when the genetic sequence of the pathogen of interest is known, mRNA vaccines can beproduced very quickly.

(Video) How mRNA Vaccines Work - Simply Explained

The mRNA in vaccines may be in a form structurally similar to that normally found in the body, such as that used in human COVID-19 vaccines, orauto-amplifier, called saRNA. Because saRNA allows for higher levels of protein synthesis, scientists believe that less mRNA is needed to produce a similar level of immunity. However, a SARNA COVID-19 vaccine for humans has been developedby the biopharmaceutical company CureVacinduced less protection than traditional mRNA approaches.

merck sequenceit is currently the only saRNA vaccine approved for use in animals and is available by prescription to protect pigs against swine flu.

Stability of mRNA vaccine components

All mRNA vaccines are made in the laboratory using methods that have beendeveloped decades ago. Only recently has technology advanced to the point where the organism does not immediately reject it, activating the defense mechanisms inherent in each cell. This rejection would happen before the immune system had a chance to react.

COVID-19 mRNA vaccines used in humansmix the modified nucleotides– RNA building blocks – with unmodified nucleotides, thanks to which the mRNA can hide from the cell's internal antivirus sensors. These modified nucleotides allow the mRNA to survive in the body's cells.for several daysinstead ofjust a few hourssuch as natural mRNA.

New methods of administering vaccines usinglipid nanoparticlesalso make sure the mRNA doesn't degrade before it has a chance to enter cells and start making proteins.

(Video) Influenza mRNA Vaccines: Mechanisms and Methodologies

Despite this stability, mRNA vaccines do not persist long enough in animals after injection for any vaccine component to reach commercial shelves. Unlike human vaccines, animal vaccine manufacturers must specifyGrace periodfor USDA approval. This means that none of the vaccine components can be found in the animal before it is milked or slaughtered. Given the short lifespan of some farm animals and intensive milking schedules, grace periods often need to be very short.

Between mandatory vaccine disposal, rapid pasteurization of milk, shelf degradation and cooking of food products, no vaccine residue could be left for human consumption. Even if you consume residual mRNA molecules, your digestive tract will.degrade them quickly.

Various mRNA vaccines for use in animalsThey are in early stages development. Merck's Sequitivity, licensed by the USDA, does not use modified nucleotides or lipid nanoparticles that allow these vaccine components to circulate in the body for slightly longer periods, so long-term durability is unlikely.

As with humans, there are vaccines for animals.tested for safety and effectivenessin clinical trials. approval ofUSDA Center for Vaccine Biologyrequires a moderate level of protection against infection or disease symptoms. As with all animal vaccines, future mRNA vaccines will also need to be completely eliminated from the animal's body before they can be used in animals for human consumption.

mRNA vaccines for more cattle

It has yet to be determined whether mRNA vaccines will replace other types of livestock vaccines. Othe cost of producing these vaccines, Your necessitystored very cold and warm before useto prevent degradation, and the effectiveness of different types of mRNA vaccines still needs to be addressed before they can be used on a large scale.

(Video) Non Viral Delivery of self amplifying mRNA Vaccines March 31 Webinar

Traditional pet vaccines have foodprotected them from many diseases. Limiting the use of mRNA vaccines at this point would mean missing out on a new way to protect animals from pesky pathogens that current vaccines fail to prevent.


What is the difference between mRNA vaccine and traditional vaccine? ›

Traditional vaccines put a weakened or inactivated germ into our bodies. Messenger RNA (mRNA) vaccines, like the Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines, teach cells how to make a protein that triggers an immune response if someone gets infected.

What is the mRNA vaccine used against? ›

Currently vaccines for COVID-19, the disease caused by the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus, are the only authorized or approved mRNA vaccines.

Is mRNA safer than inactivated vaccine? ›

Previous studies have found that two doses of inactivated whole-virus vaccines elicited lower antibody titers and conferred less protection against SARS-CoV-2 infection than two doses of mRNA vaccines.

What is the function of vaccines in animals? ›

Vaccinations prevent diseases that can be passed between animals and also from animals to people. Diseases prevalent in wildlife, such as rabies and distemper, can infect unvaccinated pets. In many areas, local or state ordinances require certain vaccinations of household pets.

What advantages do mRNA vaccines have over traditional vaccines? ›

Traditional vaccines typically require growing large amounts of infectious viruses and then inactivating them — a process that can take weeks or months. However, mRNA vaccines can be quickly designed, tested, and mass produced.

What are some disadvantages of mRNA vaccines? ›

Table 2
Heat and cold intolerance8.56
Increased thirst3.24
Increased appetite1.62
Increased urine1.62
48 more rows

Is the COVID vaccine the first mRNA vaccine? ›

Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine is the first mRNA product to achieve full FDA approval in the U.S. What's next?

How effective are mRNA vaccines? ›

mRNA-1273, an mRNA vaccine developed by Moderna, showed 94.1% efficacy (95% CI: 89.3–96.8%) in preventing symptomatic infection with onset at least 14 days after the second dose.

What is mRNA made of? ›

Definition. Messenger RNA (abbreviated mRNA) is a type of single-stranded RNA involved in protein synthesis. mRNA is made from a DNA template during the process of transcription.

What is the efficacy of mRNA vaccine against death? ›

By 30 days of a positive SARS-CoV-2 test, the vaccine effectiveness for all-cause death was 79% (95% CI 74–84) in the robust group, 79% (75–83) in the pre-frail group, and 68% (63–71) in the frail group.

Which vaccines are live vaccines? ›

The live, attenuated viral vaccines currently available and routinely recommended in the United States are MMR, varicella, rotavirus, and influenza (intranasal). Other non-routinely recommended live vaccines include adenovirus vaccine (used by the military), typhoid vaccine (Ty21a), and Bacille Calmette-Guerin (BCG).

What animal cells are used in vaccines? ›

Vaccine production

For example, measles vaccine is grown in chick embryo cells and polio vaccines are grown in a mouse cell line. Another animal cell line, now being used to make egg-free flu vaccine, was derived in 1958 from the kidney of a cocker spaniel.

What are cows vaccinated against? ›

Cows are generally vaccinated for IBR, BVD, PI3, and BRSV virus, leptospirosis, clostridial, E. coli mastitis, and calf diarrhea diseases during the lactation period and/or the dry period.

What is the advantage of mRNA vaccine over protein vaccine? ›

An important advantage of mRNA vaccine technology compared to the production of vaccines based on inactivated virus or recombinant protein is the ability to quickly pass all stages of its development.

Does mRNA vaccine increase inflammation? ›

Answer: Rare cases of inflammation of the heart (myocarditis and pericarditis) have been reported after getting the COVID-19 mRNA vaccines.

What happens if mRNA is damaged? ›

As highlighted earlier, damage to mRNA, depending on its type, is highly detrimental to its decoding capacity, and unless dealt with, it could lead to the production of toxic protein products. Even more detrimental is the ability of damaged mRNA to drastically affect ribosome homeostasis through stalling.

Does the mRNA vaccine cause inflammation in the body? ›

A recent report showed that LNPs used in preclinical nucleoside-modified mRNA vaccine studies are (independently of the delivery route) highly inflammatory in mice, as evidenced by excessive neutrophil infiltration, activation of diverse inflammatory pathways, and production of various inflammatory cytokines and ...

What study delivers bad news to Moderna COVID vaccine recipients? ›

For every 1 million second doses administered, Moderna vaccine recipients had 10.7 additional cases of myocarditis and pericarditis over people who got Pfizer, according to the study.

Where is mRNA found? ›

mRNA is synthesized in the nucleus using the nucleotide sequence of DNA as a template. This process requires nucleotide triphosphates as substrates and is catalyzed by the enzyme RNA polymerase II. The process of making mRNA from DNA is called transcription, and it occurs in the nucleus.

How do you go from DNA to mRNA? ›

During transcription, the DNA of a gene serves as a template for complementary base-pairing, and an enzyme called RNA polymerase II catalyzes the formation of a pre-mRNA molecule, which is then processed to form mature mRNA (Figure 1).

Does the mRNA vaccine prevent infection? ›

The Pfizer/BioNTech mRNA vaccine directed at COVID-19 is much better than natural infection at revving up key immune cells called killer T cells to fight future infection by SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, Stanford Medicine investigators have found.

Does the COVID vaccine work with mRNA? ›

How does the vaccine work? The mRNA in the vaccine teaches your cells how to make copies of the spike protein. If you are exposed to the real virus later, your body will recognize it and know how to fight it off. After the mRNA delivers the instructions, your cells break it down and get rid of it.

What is the scientific study about the effectiveness of the COVID vaccine? ›

Efficacy/effectiveness of current COVID-19 vaccines

A systematic review on the efficacy of vaccines covering studies from January 1 to May 14, 2021 identified 30 studies, showed 80-90 per cent vaccine efficacy against symptomatic and asymptomatic infections in fully vaccinated people in nearly all studies20.

What is mRNA in layman's terms? ›

mRNA—or messenger RNA—is a molecule that contains the instructions or recipe that directs the cells to make a protein using its natural machinery. To enter cells smoothly, mRNA travels within a protective bubble called a Lipid Nanoparticle.

What is the copying of mRNA from DNA called? ›

Transcription, as related to genomics, is the process of making an RNA copy of a gene's DNA sequence. This copy, called messenger RNA (mRNA), carries the gene's protein information encoded in DNA.

Where does mRNA go after it leaves the nucleus? ›

After mRNA leaves the nucleus, it moves to a ribosome, which consists of rRNA and proteins. Translation happens on the ribosomes floating in the cytosol, or on the ribosomes attached to the rough endoplasmic reticulum.

What is the lifespan of the mRNA vaccine? ›

The mRNA vaccines (Moderna and Pfizer) don't last more than a few days in the body.

Which mRNA vaccine is most effective? ›

Both of the mRNA vaccines available in the US are highly effective against severe COVID-19, but recent studies suggest that Moderna's elicits a stronger immune response and might be better at preventing breakthrough infections.

How do vaccines affect life expectancy? ›

Vaccines dramatically reduced the incidence of infectious diseases that historically killed hundreds of millions, and made a substantial contribution to life expectancy that during the last century in developed countries increased from ∼47–80 y (4).

Is shingles vaccine a live virus? ›

There is no live virus in recombinant shingles vaccine. Shingles vaccine may be given at the same time as other vaccines. Tell your vaccination provider if the person getting the vaccine: Has had an allergic reaction after a previous dose of recombinant shingles vaccine, or has any severe, life-threatening allergies.

What is an example of a killed vaccine? ›

Killed (inactivated) vaccines are made from a protein or other small pieces taken from a virus or bacteria. The whooping cough (pertussis) vaccine is an example.

Is the HPV vaccine a live vaccine? ›

The vaccine contains a simulation of the virus — not a live virus. It cannot cause cancer or HPV infection.

What vaccine is grown in insect cells? ›

The only flu virus component it contains is hemagglutinin, the active ingredient, which is produced by infecting cultures of insect cells with a baculovirus that turns them into hemagglutinin factories. Most flu vaccines use viruses grown in chicken eggs.

What are the three types of vaccine immunities animals? ›

The majority of the licensed veterinary vaccines currently in use are inactivated (killed) vaccines, live-attenuated vaccines, or toxoids. All these represent different strategies used to reduce the risk of illness while retaining the ability to induce a beneficial immune response.

Which vaccine is made with eggs? ›

Because influenza and yellow fever vaccines are both made in eggs, egg proteins (primarily ovalbumin) are present in the final products. Yellow fever vaccine — In the case of the yellow fever vaccine, quantities are sufficient to cause allergic reactions in susceptible patients.

What is the name of the black leg vaccine? ›

Ultrabac 7 is a 7-Way blackleg combination vaccine. Ultrabac 7 protects your cattle against the major blackleg type diseases, sudden death, and overeating.

Are dairy cows vaccinated? ›

ADULT COWS Cows are generally vaccinated for IBR, BVD, PI3, and BRSV virus, leptospirosis, clostridial, E. coli mastitis, and calf diarrhea diseases during the lactation period and/or the dry period.

Why are pigs vaccinated? ›

Most important diseases that infect pigs, including those caused by pathogenic viruses and bacteria, can be prevented or their effects reduced by vaccines. Along with a sound biosecurity program, vaccines are the most cost-effective tool for preventing serious disease outbreaks on your farm.

What does the mRNA do? ›

What is mRNA? mRNA—or messenger RNA—is a molecule that contains the instructions or recipe that directs the cells to make a protein using its natural machinery. To enter cells smoothly, mRNA travels within a protective bubble called a Lipid Nanoparticle.

Why is mRNA needed for proteins? ›

The type of RNA that contains the information for making a protein is called messenger RNA (mRNA) because it carries the information, or message, from the DNA out of the nucleus into the cytoplasm. Translation, the second step in getting from a gene to a protein, takes place in the cytoplasm.

Where does mRNA go? ›

The mRNA molecules are transported through the nuclear envelope into the cytoplasm, where they are translated by the rRNA of ribosomes (see translation).

What are the 5 types of vaccines? ›

There are several types of vaccines, including:
  • Inactivated vaccines.
  • Live-attenuated vaccines.
  • Messenger RNA (mRNA) vaccines.
  • Subunit, recombinant, polysaccharide, and conjugate vaccines.
  • Toxoid vaccines.
  • Viral vector vaccines.

What converts DNA into mRNA? ›

During transcription, the DNA of a gene serves as a template for complementary base-pairing, and an enzyme called RNA polymerase II catalyzes the formation of a pre-mRNA molecule, which is then processed to form mature mRNA (Figure 1).

How is mRNA different from DNA? ›

DNA is deoxyribonucleic acid. mRNA is a subtype of ribonucleic acid (RNA). It is a self-replicating molecule that carries hereditary information. It is a transcription product that determines the amino acid sequence for a specific protein.


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