Manufacturing News

Canada closer to E. coli vaccine

A Canadian alliance of corporate, government and university researchers was set to launch large-scale field trials this month in Alberta on a vaccine intended to attack E. coli O157:H7 bacteria in live animals.

Plans call for trials to begin with 72,000 cows and, pending a successful outcome, researchers hope to commercialize the vaccine in Canada in 2002. The undertaking received a boost in July when Technology Partnerships Canada (TPC) provided biopharmaceutical company and alliance member Bioniche Life Sciences Inc. with $9.6 million in investment funds to support continued clinical studies of the vaccine. Other alliance members include the University of British Columbia (UBC), the Alberta Research Council Inc. (ARC), the Canadian Bacterial Diseases Network (CBDN) and the Veterinary Infectious Disease Organization (VIDO).

At a July ceremony announcing details of the TPC investment, VIDO director Lorne Babiuk noted that initial studies undertaken by VIDO confirmed the efficacy the vaccine, indicating that it dramatically reduces the levels of E. coli O157:H7 excreted by cattle into the environment. The vaccine reduces the shedding of E. coli 0157:H7 three orders of magnitude or more, he said, resulting in one-thousand-fold less bacteria.

E. coli, a fecal coliform bacteria that is known to multiply in the digestive tracts of healthy cattle, can cause serious illness or death among people who ingest contaminated water, meat or produce. In addition to several outbreaks in the U.S., the bacteria was responsible for the Walkerton, Ontario crisis in May 2000 that resulted in thousands of illnesses and seven deaths. The outbreak occurred when rain washed cattle manure into municipal wells that supplied the town's water system.

The vaccine was developed by Dr. Brett Finlay, a professor of biotechnology at UBC. Finlay's research led him to discover how E.coli O157:H7 attaches to intestinal cells, which in turn led to the development of a vaccine. The UBC University Industry Liaison Office has filed for patents on Finlay's discovery.

ARC has signed an agreement with UBC and VIDO to license the new vaccine, and will produce it at its Edmonton facility. The plant is the largest publicly owned facility in North America and is approved by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and by Agriculture Canada and Agri-Food Canada.

Vetrepharm, Bioniche's animal health division, will lead commercialization of the vaccine.

Did you enjoy this article? Click here to subscribe to Food Engineering Magazine.

You must login or register in order to post a comment.



Image Galleries

IPPE 2015

The 2015 International Production and Processing Expo (IPPE) was held in Atlanta at the Georgia World Congress Center, Jan. 27-29. More than 30,000 poultry, meat and feed industry representatives attended the event to interact with the 1,288 exhibitors on the show floor that covered more than 490,000 net square feet. At the show exhibitors demonstrated innovations in equipment, supplies and services utilized by firm in the production and processing of meat, poultry, eggs and feed products.


Burns & McDonnell project manager RJ Hope and senior project engineer Justin Hamilton discuss the distinctions between Food Safety and Food Defense as well as the implications for food manufacturers of the Food Safety Modernization Act.
More Podcasts

Food Engineering

Food Engineering March 2015 cover

2015 March

In this March 2015 issue of Food Engineering, we explore how a surprise FDA audit could be serious if you're not recording key data.

Table Of Contents Subscribe

Plant Facility/Site Issues

What issue about your current plant facility/site keeps you up the most at night?
View Results Poll Archive


Food Authentication Using Bioorganic Molecules

This text provides critical tools and data needed to augment routine food analysis and enhance food safety by aiding in the detection of counterfeit, and potentially deleterious, foods.

More Products

Clear Seas Research

Clear Seas ResearchWith access to over one million professionals and more than 60 industry-specific publications,Clear Seas Research offers relevant insights from those who know your industry best. Let us customize a market research solution that exceeds your marketing goals.


FE recent tweets

facebook_40.pngtwitter_40px.pngyoutube_40px.png linkedin_40px.pngGoogle +

Food Master

Food Engineering Food Master 2015Food Master 2015 is now available!

Where the buying process begins in the food and beverage manufacturing market. 

Visit to learn more.