Submitted to: Trends in Immunology
Publication Type: Review Article
Publication Acceptance Date: December 6, 2001
Publication Date: N/A
This article reviews the process reported by veterinary immunologists gathered in Uppsala, Sweden, from July 15-20, 2001, for the 6th International Veterinary Immunology Symposium (6IVIS; www- conference.slu.se/ivis2001). Here 450 delegates from 46 countries discussed the immunobiology of livestock, companion animal species, and wildlife including marine animals. Veterinary immunology is dedicated to the improvement of animal health, thus immunity to infections was a focal point of 6IVIS. However, this year it was a burning topic given the worldwide attention drawn to massive efforts to control foot and mouth disease (FMD), avian influenza, and bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) in our farm animals (1). Infectious diseases jeopardize animal welfare and agricultural economy both in developed and developing countries (www.oie.int). The situation is exacerbated by the fact that diseases such as brucellosis, classical swine fever (CSF), paratuberculosis, distemper and rabies move readily between domesticated species and wildlife. Moreover, many diseases pose a potential threat to human health. Consolidation within the pharmaceutical industry and regulations of drug usage in food animals have resulted in lowered investment in new drugs and vaccines just at the time when innovation is necessary and advances in animal health and disease prevention readily accessible. Increased investments in veterinary immunology are, however, needed to facilitate advances in animal health, diagnosis and prevention of disease, primarily for the benefit of animals, but also for humans for safer foods and improved biomedical models.