24 Jul '12, 4pm

Vaccines Used on Factory Farms Causing New Resistant Viruses

Many TreeHugger readers are probably aware that overuse of antibiotics on factory farms is leading to resistant diseases, so-called superbugs . But a new report in Science Now (h/t Mother Jones ) shows that medicines to prevent viral infections in the impossibly cramped, inhumane conditions of factory farms are also leading to viruses that are resistant to the vaccines administered to prevent them. Vaccines aren't supposed to cause disease. But that appears to be what's happening on Australian farms. Scientists have found that two virus strains used to vaccinate chickens there may have recombined to form a virus that is sickening and killing the animals. "This shows that recombination of such strains can happen and people need to think about it," says Glenn Browning, a veterinary microbiologist at the University of Melbourne, Parkville, in Australia and one of the co-autho...

Full article: http://www.treehugger.com/sustainable-agriculture/vaccine...

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