An ad hoc Technical Workshop on RVF vaccines and diagnostics was organized in March 2014 at FAO headquarters in Rome. Meeting participants discussed available and experimental vaccines and diagnostic tests. The need for vaccines of improved efficacy and safety was emphasized as well as the preference for multivalent vaccines. Nine recommendations were formulated.
Jeroen Kortekaas (CVI) prepared the report in collaboration with James Zingeser, Thomas Ksiazek and Juan Lubroth. The report will be available in Arabic, Chinese, French, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish.
Rift Valley Fever (RVF) virus causes severe disease in ruminants and occasionally humans. The virus is endemic to the African continent, the Arabian Peninsula and several islands off the coast of southern Africa. The virus continues to expand its habitat, explaining the concerns for incursions into new areas.
- Surveillance systems should be strengthened, applying a One Health approach, with an active partnership of the national ministries responsible for public health, agriculture and livestock.
- Recognizing that Clone 13 vaccine is safe and efficacious against RVF, countries at risk for RVF are strongly encouraged to register Clone 13 vaccine.
- Research scientists and vaccine manufacturers are encouraged to explore the development and testing of new, safe and efficacious multivalent or combination vaccines selected for maximal utility and marketability, by region.
- Although DIVA is an important property of any future vaccine, absence of this feature should not hinder or block the development or licensing of an effective RVF vaccine.
- FAO is encouraged to develop implementation strategies and protocols for the application of RVF vaccines under prevention or emergency use, in close collaboration with PANVAC and other regional organizations.
- Rigorous testing and registration of safe, effective and economically feasible needle-free vaccination delivery systems and compatible vaccines are strongly encouraged.
- The ongoing initiative to move towards centralized drug and vaccine registration in different African regions is strongly supported.
- Post-registration vaccine quality assurance in the African Union through standardized periodic vaccine testing and monitoring in accordance with OIE standards is vigorously encouraged.
- Regions and/or subregions are encouraged to establish strategically located RVF vaccine banks, preferably with a rolling stock of vaccines that can be used for both prevention and outbreak response.
The meeting brought together 53 leaders in vaccine and diagnostic research, development and manufacturing, as well as policy-makers and representatives of global animal health agencies, including the chief veterinary officers of Egypt, Kenya, Mauritania, Senegal and Sudan.